New Opal claims WNBA title with Seattle

Storm forward Breanna Stewart is all smiles during warmups before the Seattle Storm take on the Washington Mystics for game two of the WNBA Finals at Key Arena in Seattle Sunday

That's what you're supposed to do when your basketball team falls short of winning a title - try to create a more super super-team.

To win the first championship in franchise history, the third-seeded Mystics must win three straight games, something no WNBA team has done in the best-of-five Finals.

But Stewart was fouled by Delle Donne while making a jump shot from the free-throw line on the next possession and converted the three-point play, sparking an 8-0 run to put Seattle back in control. "The WNBA is the best league in the world and to be able to be so successful so soon ... obviously a lot of credit goes to my teammates, Sue and our coaching staff".

"To have their own place, not to worry about being bounced out in the playoffs, that's something that will be in the past for the Mystics, and I think that's a great thing", she said. "I've seen her as a youngster, and I have seen her with the Storm, and she really is truly incredible. Now I can go to the bar, order her everything she needs".

"We understand that the difference here is we have a chance to win a championship and not just advance to the next round", Bird said. "I don't know if it was putting us seventh or eighth, I can't remember, and our team took a look at that and said, hell, no".

But this one felt much different. "And to do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react to be honest". "She has yet to let any of us down".

Breanna Stewart won four NCAA championships at UConn and won four Final Four MVP awards.

As if to drive the point home, that the Mystics' wander through the postseason desert had reached its nadir, Sue Bird poked her head out from the locker room after morning shoot-around in her green and yellow warmups, perfectly matching the paint and seats of Eagle Bank Arena. The others are Cynthia Cooper, Sheryl Swoopes, Tamika Catchings, and Brittney Griner.

The Storm finished the period ahead 20-16 because they were 4 of 9 on 3-pointers while Washington was 2 of 5.

When she was drafted in 2016, Seattle had missed the playoffs in the previous two seasons.

No wonder players and coaches were exhausted after pulling an all-nighter, celebrating at a nearby restaurant after finishing off a sweep of the Washington Mystics just outside the nation's capital.

Stewart and Howard each scored 17 points in the first half as the Storm took a 47-30 lead.

Rounding out the first team were Dallas center Liz Cambage and Mystics' forward Elena Delle Donne.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt sank a 3-pointer with 6:49 left to cut Seattle's 16-point lead at the start of the fourth to five (72-67) and inject a little suspense in a game the Storm controlled for three quarters.

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