What led to Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, a 98-82 series-ending loss for the Mystics to the Seattle Storm and the first ever WNBA Finals game held in the D.C. area, was a rapid ascension following the 2016 season, a rebuild that by all accounts has culminated faster than anyone could have predicted. It was a rare show of emotion from a normally reserved Bird, and the 14 points she dropped in the fourth, including four threes, to send the Storm to the Finals set social media ablaze.
In addition to Stewie's impressive stats, forward Natasha Howard hit a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds.
What was billed as a battle between two of the league's most lethal three-point shooting teams turned into a one-sided display for the Storm. And of course, Atkins emerged as one of the best rookies in a strong 2018 draft class, showcasing her ability as both a tenacious defender and viable offensive threat behind Delle Donne and Toliver. "I didn't coach her on the U-17 team in 2010 but I saw her".
"It doesn't feel real yet, honestly", WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart said after the game. "Sue told us in the huddle that it wasn't going to be easy basically, and it was just how we reacted, how we countered that, and we knew - we got to this point for a reason, also, and it was Game 3 of the Finals, and we were going home with a championship". If we win a championship this week, that will be great. "We still have a ways to go to make this league what we want it to be as players, just to be a professional league that we can be proud of".
The Storm earned their 3rd WNBA title Wednesday night in Fairfax, Virginia in three games of a best-of-5 series.
As for the Washington Mystics, this awesome season comes to an end.
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"We'd like to have taken that one last step, but the window for us is open right now", coach Mike Thibault said.
This was inside EagleBank Arena, a college basketball arena that hosted the WNBA Finals where the Storm won its third league championship. As she won her first WNBA title, she did let out a huge scream or jump up and down in unbridled joy. Since the league went to a best-of-five format in 2005, four teams trailed 0-2.
Despite the misfires, Washington rallied from down 18 points to trailing 72-67 with 6:49 remaining.
It was close at the start of the second quarter, and then it wasn't after Stewart took over and scored nine points in the period.
But this year, the Storm's third-year star fulfilled her promise in spectacular fashion. "We're only out there on the court a little bit of time together, but the moments that we spend hanging out in the airport, playing 'would you rather, ' hanging out, getting dinner together, those are the moments that are so special, and what we're actually probably going to miss the most now that this season has ended". "So to end it this way, there's nothing better".
"I'm sure he's going to say we're not invited anyway. We were champions again".