Breanna Stewart, Storm: Stewart earned her first All-WNBA First Team honor and first WNBA MVP award after ranking second in the league in scoring (21.8 ppg), third in rebounding (8.4 rpg), seventh in blocked shots (1.44 bpg), eighth in steals (1.35 spg), 10 in field goal percentage (52.9) and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (41.5) for league-leading Seattle.
The ultra-confident, steely cool Stewart had a feeling about this game, just as she had a feeling about this series and this season.
The Storm rolled to a 16-point lead after the first half behind dominant performances from Stewart and center Natasha Howard.
Sue Bird says she will not visit the White House if the Seattle Storm is invited after winning the WNBA championship.
But it had been eight years since Bird, now 37, and the Storm won in 2010.
"You can't be unsuccessful if you're in the Finals", Kristi Toliver said. Though the floor of the arena, the home gym of George Mason University, boasts the imported red, white and blue signage of the Mystics, the 10,000 seats surrounding the court alternate from green to yellow - Storm-like colors. She was carried to the locker room and did not return. I knew she was that elite level player and more importantly that elite level competitor that wanted to be the best.
"I have seen her with the national team this last Olympics", Team USA assistant coach Jennifer Rizzotti said.
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WNBAElena Delle Donne boxes out Breanna Stewart.
The Storm got their first taste of life without Bird in the semifinals when she broke her nose and had to sit out the remainder of Game 4 against Phoenix.
What Stewart has done the seven years since is no surprise to her. Howard was the league's most improved player this season, progress that came mostly because she had more of a chance to play in Seattle. "Defensively, they had a better identity this year".
After trailing 69-53 entering the fourth quarter, the Mystics rallied to within five points at 72-67 on a 3-pointer by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt with 6:49 remaining.
It didn't dim their view of how well 2018 went up until the final round. The love Seattle is showing them undoubtedly will make them hungry for more. "This team made a lot of great strides from last year to this year". The good news? If you're Washington, you have to feel a certain level of confidence that shots will fall.
ED: "To get her - trust me, I know, I've got you, Panda".
Skylar Diggins-Smith, Wings: Now a three-time All-WNBA honoree, she averaged a career-high 6.2 assists (third in the WNBA) to go with 17.9 points while playing a league-high 34.1 minutes per game.