Seattle 74, Connecticut 60
Storm Stop Sun, Win WNBA Crown
SEATTLE, Oct. 12 (Ticker) -- The Seattle Storm got to the WNBA Finals behind stars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird. They won their first title behind a player picked off the scrap heap.
Betty Lennox scored 16 of her 23 points in the second half as the Storm won the WNBA championship with a 74-60 triumph over the Connecticut Sun in the decisive third game.
"I can't believe it," Lennox said. "Everything that I've been through, so many teams that I've been on. I'm speechlesss right now."
"They were doing everything in their power to stop Sue and I from scoring," Jackson said. "It's silly because Betty's (got) a better (shooting) percentage than we have."
Jackson collected 13 points and seven rebounds while Bird added eight - all in the second half - and six assists.
"I knew that coming out in the second half, somebody needed to step up and get us going, whether it was passing or shooting," Bird said. "So the first five minutes, I started to be aggressive."
Playing in front of their second straight sellout crowd of 17,072, the Storm improved to a perfect 5-0 at KeyArena in the postseason. They won their last two series after losing the opener on the road.
"(Having) 17,000 - I think we're starting something here," Bird said. "We are on our way to do great things, starting with our first championship - and hopefully people come back"
"They were good," Sun rookie guard Lindsay Whalen said. "As an opposing player, you have to try to block it out."
After Nykesha Sales hit two free throws to cut Seattle's lead to 51-46 with 13:05 left, the Storm went on a 13-2 run capped by Lennox's driving layup with 6:15 to go.
Led by center Kamila Vodichkova, who scored 12 of her 14 points in the opening half, Seattle never trailed, opening a 26-14 lead with 10:17 left. Connecticut answered with a 15-3 surge over the next seven minutes to tie the game.
But the Sun went cold in the second half, missing 18 of 23 shots. Shooting guard Katie Douglas characterized the team's poor shooting, finishing 0-of-11 from the floor. She scored just six points after averaging 16 in the first two games.
Seattle coach Ann Donovan made history by becoming the first female coach to guide a team to the WNBA title.
"I'm glad there's a woman that's won a championship," Donovan said. "But I have to tell you it's something we've been striving for. I think there's a lot of great women's coaches out there."