The title-clincher was a 98-82 Game 3 win for the Storm; Steward leading the way with 30 points and eight rebounds, while Bird finished with a double-double: 10 points and 10 assists.
The Storm stayed true to their mantra to never look back and always focus on the next game.
James, of course, knows how it is to be on the other end of a championship loss and wanted to recognize the Mystics for their season. Hughes knows that the Mystics likely won't go 0-for-16 again on 3-pointers like they did in Game 2.
Bird returned from a broken nose suffered 48 hours earlier for masked heroics, in which she took over in the clutch while scoring 14 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter of a decisive Game 5 win in the semis.
"When you talk about being a coach on the floor, she's it", said first-year Storm coach Dan Hughes who admits to sharing authority in the locker room and during timeouts with Bird. "We're going to be better when we get home, and we're going to knock down shots".
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. Our team went through a rebuild and yes, I chose to stay.
Now she can add a WNBA title and a WNBA Finals MVP to her resume.
Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart (30) shoots the ball over Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) during the second quarter in game three of the WNBA Finals at Eagle Bank Arena. That is something that Seattle's Sue Bird and Washington's Kristi Toliver did together years ago that served as the start of a strong friendship that has grown over the past six years.
His opening statement noted the free throw difference between Stewart and Delle Donne (14 to 3), and an apparent non-call on Washington's next-to-last possession where Bird knocked the ball from Toliver as she drove the baseline.
As did numerous players who represent those teams, such as Seahawks stars Earl Thomas, Russell Wilson and Frank Clark.
Liz Cambage, Wings: In her first WNBA season since 2013, the Australian center led the league in scoring (23.0 ppg) and ranked second in rebounding (9.7 rpg).
But the history of teams that have faced a 2-0 deficit since the league went to a best-of-five format in 2005 doesn't paint an optimistic picture for the Mystics. If a player received votes at multiple positions, she was slotted at the position where she received the most votes. Everyone has to have an "I love you off the court, but I'm going to kill you on the court" type of mentality.
"Not only does Sue understands the things we need to do on the court to be successful, she's knowledgeable about what it takes off the court to be at your best like diet, taking care of yourself and making sure you get proper rest". "What I was pleased with was that we realized at halftime that we've got to kind of back out and re-establish some things". "It came down to a stop, and I thought we really did a good job". The Mystics were 7 of 20 from behind the arc in Game 3.
"It doesn't feel real yet, honestly", she said.
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