Bird remains heart, soul of champion Storm | Sports Columns

Bird remains heart, soul of champion Storm | Sports Columns

Bird remains heart, soul of champion Storm | Sports Columns

The Storm did it in style, completing a three-game sweep of the Washington Mystics on Wednesday with a 98-82 win in Fairfax, Virginia. Stewart, the MVP, and Loyd carried the scoring for much of the season, combining for almost 40 points per game.

Stewart and Howard each scored 17 points in the first half as the Storm took a 47-30 lead. She finished with 29 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

Sue Bird, also a member of a Seattle's championship teams in 2004 and 2010, had 10 points and 10 assists. "You have to think big picture", Kristi Toliver said after the Mystics' season-ending loss to Seattle.

As bedlam burst and champagne poured, Breanna Stewart stood tall inside the cramped, plastic-lined visitor's locker room and allowed herself a smile of gratification.

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.

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. We showed a lot of character this year, a lot of resiliency coming off after the All-Star break playing really well, and then obviously to make the Finals against a really great team.

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"It doesn't feel real yet, honestly", she said.

Elena Delle Donne spurred one last furious rally to cut the deficit from 16 down to 5 in the fourth quarter, but that's as close as they would get.

The next wave of WNBA stars will be led by Stewart a product of a UConn Huskies machine that brings a culture of leadership, teamwork, talent, championship pedigree and visibility to the WNBA game.

A young Seattle team that lost in the first round the past two years and won just 15 games last season, obliterated the Mystics. "We knew what we had to do to actually win a title and that's what we did". "What she did this year was ahead of schedule for us". "Now I can go to the bar, order her everything she needs". "I'm going to tell you what, they were special in November, January, and when we started April 29th, and they're special tonight". It's when people say things like, 'There's no basketball in Seattle anymore.' Or, like, 'We need pro basketball back in Seattle.' They're talking about how the Sonics are gone. Stewart dropped 17 points in the first half, too, going a ideal 4-of-4 from behind the arc.

Bleary eyed but very happy, the WNBA champion Seattle Storm returned to Seattle on Thursday morning, greeted at Sea-Tac International Airport by a handful of fans and seemingly every media outlet in the state. "It really gave us that home court advantage". "This is probably going to be one of the most defining moments of my career", Bird said Wednesday night.

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