Seattle came into Game 3 of the WNBA Finals looking to attain their third championship title for the franchise. The Storm previously won the title in 2004 and 2010.
It has been a team effort that allowed the Storm to be up 2-0 in the series. Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird led the way for Seattle along with big performances from Jewell Loyd and Jordin Canada.
Ariel Atkins had been playing like a veteran in her first finals appearance with the Mystics as a rookie while Elena Delle Donne had been playing her game this series as she was coming back from injury.
The Storm started the game with a commanding 16-point lead in the first half behind the strong play of Stewart and Natasha Howard combining for 34 points. Howard finished the half shooting 5-6 from the field while Stewart was perfect from beyond the arc 4-4.
For Washington, Ariel Atkins continued her dominant play for the Mystics leading the team with nine points.
Both team’s benches only had two points each from Monique Currie for the Mystics and Canada for the Storm.
Into the second half, the Mystics made way to get themselves back in the game. Towards the end of the third quarter, Washington went on a 6-0 run and found momentum when Seattle’s coach Dan Hughes received a technical. That run allowed the Mystics to cut the deficit down to 10 points.
The Mystics’ effort to continue a stride was stopped immediately as the Storm pushed the lead to 15 points.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt made a huge three-pointer that helped Washington continue their late fourth-quarter push to get the deficit down to five points with seven minutes left.
This game was the epitome of runs as Seattle answered with an 8-0 run behind Stewart converting on a three-point play and Sami Whitcomb’s three from behind the arc to keep Seattle on track.
Stewart and Natasha Cloud exchanged baskets to finish the game. A cutting layup by Stewart with 27.9 seconds left was Bird’s tenth assist of the game.
After a dominating first half from Stewart and Howard, they both continued with strong performances in the second half. Stewart finished the game with 30 points on 11-22 shooting from the field and eight rebounds while Howard notched a double-double with 29 points and 14 rebounds on 11-14 shooting.
Alysha Clark quietly had herself a game with 15 points and nine rebounds for the Storm. Bird also finished with a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
Delle Donne led Washington with 23 points on 9-18 shooting from the field. Kristi Toliver finished with 22 points.
Both Stewart and Delle Donne were named to the All-WNBA First Team.
Stewart was also awarded Finals MVP for this series. She was also named league MVP earlier this season, ranking high in scoring and rebounding. She is the sixth player in league history to win both regular season and Finals MVP honors in the same year.