HIGHLIGHTS: Seattle Storm Win 2018 WNBA Championship

Isaiah Thomas. Courtesy The Player's Tribune

And it was eight more years on top of that before Bird and the Storm finally made it back to the Finals, where they will face the Washington Mystics in Game 1 on Friday night.

"We said it all year, you can't get too high or too low".

The answer came almost four months later with a championship. A masked Sue Bird, the oldest player in the league, finished the game with 10 points and 10 assists.

The Mystics have the talent and also the necessary team chemistry to get the most out of themselves.

Hughes has reached the Finals only once in his career, in 2008 with San Antonio, where it was swept by Detroit.

Breanna Stewart led the Storm with 30 points and Natasha Howard scored 29 points to go along with 14 rebounds to finish the best-of-five series and give Seattle its third WNBA title. "She truly was the MVP of this league".

"I know I didn't want her career to end without getting back here". A young Seattle team that lost in the first round the past two years and won just 15 games last season, obliterated Washington for its first crown since 2010. Atkins cemented herself as the Mystics' starting three with her speed and defensive effort, and it didn't hurt that she averaged 20.1 points per 40 minutes in the regular season. "There is probably no comparison to be honest". "I didn't even know [Toliver's] favorite beer". Our team went through a rebuild and yes, I made a decision to stay.

Now in its 22 season, the league continues its struggle for mainstream support.

The coach sensed something brewing early in his first year with the franchise.

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Moore averaged 18.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and a WNBA-leading 1.68 steals during an injury-plagued season for Minnesota as she earned all-WNBA honors for the seventh consecutive season. The great thing is we can still improve.

What Delle Donne did against Atlanta may have been better. She was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four in all four of her college years.

The Mystics began the season picked to finish eighth in the Associated Press preseason poll. While players haven't been shy about standing up for themselves, they've gotten some help from their National Basketball Association counterparts this year, which is enormous given the men's game's meteoric rise both at home and overseas over the last half decade.

ED: "To get her - trust me, I know, I've got you, Panda".

"I'm going to need a lot tonight", Toliver replied.

Bird is now celebrating her third championship with the Storm. She missed Game 3, and while she returned for Games 4 and 5 and the entire WNBA Finals, she was a shell of her capability. They forget about their past, which included seven straight playoff losses on the road and focused entirely on Game 3. The Mystics joined that unwanted club. The game, which saw Seattle overcome the Washington Mystics 98 - 82 for the sweep, was also up 33% from last year's Game 3. Stewart, the MVP, and Loyd carried the scoring for much of the season, combining for almost 40 points per game.

"Way at the beginning, I said at the start, I was exhausted of losing", Stewart said. Obviously, winning helps. But we can really create something here.

This is likely just the beginning for the dynamic 24-year-old forward, who won the NCAA Championship during each of her four seasons at the University of CT. In the end, the Storm, who dominated the regular season, proved to be the league's best team.

The legendary University of CT women's basketball coach sat next to his long-time assistant Chris Daley watching the most decorated player they'd ever coach do what she always does - dominate and win.

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