The Seattle Storm are the 2018 WNBA Champions! With the Washington Mystics hosting their first ever WNBA Finals game, Seattle took the lead early in Game 3 and remained in control throughout. Breanna Stewart was named MVP of the Finals after averaging 25.7 PPG and 6.0 RPG over the three games. Natasha Howard had the best game of her career as she put up a playoff and career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds. Elena Delle Donne kept the Mystics within striking distance for most of the game with a team-high 23 points, but it was the Storm who emerged victorious, capturing the franchise’s third WNBA title.
The Mystics put up a much tougher fight in Game 2, but regular season MVP Breanna Stewart carried Seattle to a 75-73 win. She scored a game-high 25 points and came up with some clutch steals down the stretch to lead the Storm. Unlike Game 1, Game 2 was back-and-forth the entire way. After falling behind by nine, the Mystics fought back and took a four-point lead into half. Elena Delle Donne (17 PTS), Kristi Toliver (15 PTS) and Ariel Atkins (15 PTS) led the way for Washington, keeping the game close throughout. The Mystics defense was much better in Game 2 as they held the Storm to 42% from the floor.
The Storm controlled Game 1 from tip-off to final buzzer. Seattle got off to an 11-point lead after the first quarter behind Sue Bird’s tempo and Natasha Howard’s 10 Points. From then on, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart took the Storm to the finish line. They combined for 45 points on 62% from the field. Ariel Atkins was the lone bright spot for the Mystics as the rookie dropped 23 in her first career #WNBAFinals game. She became the highest scoring rookie in WNBA postseason history (110 combined points) passing Maya Moore.
Two of the top players in the league will be going head-to-head in this thrilling WNBA Finals matchup. 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donne vs 2018 MVP Breanna Stewart who rank 3rd and 5th respectively in scoring this postseason, will lead their teams into battle for the title. In three head-to-head games during the regular season the Seattle Storm had a 2-1 advantage. The Storm are back in the finals for the first time since 2010 where they crowned champions behind Finals MVP Lauren Jackson’s outstanding series. The Mystics are in the Finals for the first time ever and will look to leave their mark.
Game 5 (Mystics 86, Dream 81): Rookie Ariel Atkins and Kristi Toliver combined for 39 points to lead the Mystics to a decisive Game 5 win in Atlanta, clinching the franchise’s first-ever Finals berth. Washington’s efforts were balanced, as Elena Delle Donne additionally pitched in a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Tianna Hawkins scored 17. On the Dream side, Alex Bentley lead Atlanta’s efforts with 16 points, with Renee Montgomery and Brittney Sykes pitching in 15 points of their own. Four Delle Donne free throws in the final 12 seconds sealed her team’s down-to-the-wire victory. Box Score | EDD’s Double-Double | Atkins 20 PTS & 7 REB
Game 4 (Mystics 97, Dream 76): The return of EDD brought a swagger back to the Mystics who came out in full force at home vs Atlanta. With a win needed to keep their finals hopes alive, all five Washington starters scored in double figures to down the Dream, 97-76. After missing the last three minutes of Game 2 and the entirety of Game 3 with a left knee bone bruise, Elena Delle Donne finished with a double-double (15 Pts, 10 Reb). Box Score | Toliver’s Game-High 22 | EDD’s Double-Double
Game 3 (Dream 81, Mystics 76): Tiffany Hayes led the Dream into Washington and pulled out a crucial Game 3 victory, 81-76. Her double-double (23 Pts, 11 Reb) helped the Dream take a lead into half and maintain it through the end of the game. The Mystics, playing without Elena Delle Donne (left knee bone bruise), threw different looks at the Dream including a four-guard lineup. They were able to keep the game close behind Aerial Powers’s 18 points, but the Dream proved to be too much in the end. Box Score | Hayes’ double-double | Powers Team-High 18
Game 2 (Dream 78, Mystics 75): With great defense down the stretch, the Dream were able to even the series, 1-1. Alex Bentley was a consistent scorer throughout, as she finished with a team-high 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. Jessica Breland controlled the paint, as her 14 rebounds and seven blocks were both game-highs. Elena Della Donne led the Mystics with 27 points, but left the game late in the 4th quarter with a left knee bone bruise. Box Score | Bentley Team-High 22 | EDD Injury Update | EDD Drops 27 Pts, 14 Reb and 6 Ast
Game 1 (Mystics 87, Dream 84): Elena Delle Donne dropped 32 points as the Washington Mystics stole Game 1 on the road. After leading by double digits early and midway through the 3rd, the Dream made a strong push late to cut the lead to one possession, but were never able to overcome the deficit. Box Score | EDD Goes For 32 Pts And 13 Reb | Bentley Drops 19
Game 5 (Storm 94, Mercury 84): A masked Sue Bird caught fire in the four quarter, pouring in 14 points to secure her Storm’s third WNBA Finals berth in Seattle’s epic 94-84 Game 5 win over Phoenix. The Storm came from behind, outscoring the Mercury 35-21 in the final quarter. On the Phoenix side, Brittney Griner led the Mecury with 21 points and 9 rebounds, while Diana Taurasi added 17 points. Bird got help from her 2018 WNBA MVP teammate, Breanna Stewart, who posted 28 points and seven rebounds. Box Score | Bird’s 22 PTS | Stewart’s Game-High 28
Game 4 (Mercury 86, Storm 84): After being down as much as 17 in the 3rd quarter, the Mercury fought back to beat the Storm, 86-84. Brittney Griner scored a playoff career-high 29 and DeWanna Bonner poured in 27 to lead Phoenix, while regular season MVP, Breanna Stewart scored a team-high 22 for the Storm. Sue Bird left the game in the second quarter with a broken nose, but she is expected to play in Game 5. The winner-take-all Game 5 will be played Tuesday at 10 PM ET on NBA TV and ESPNews. Box Score | Griner’s Playoff Career-High 29 | Bonner Drops 27
Game 3 (Mercury 86, Storm 66): On a day when Diana Taurasi did not score her first bucket until the 4th quarter, the Mercury were still able to coast to an easy win. DeWanna Bonner and Brittney Griner, who combined for 48 points, were consistent forces throughout. Phoenix went into halftime with a seven-point lead and Seattle was able to cut that to four heading into the 4th quarter. The Mercury then played their best quarter of the night on the defensive end and were able to get out in transition. Box Score | Bonner’s Game-High 27 | Griner’s 21 Point Outing
Game 2 (Storm 91, Mercury 87 – OT): One of the best games you will see this postseason! With the Storm up as much as 17 in the 4th, a late barrage of 3s from Diana Taurasi, including one to tie the game with 3.6 seconds left, forced OT. In overtime, the Storm were able to regain the lead and held on to win, 91-87. The Mercury were led by their trio of All-Stars (Taurasi, Griner and Bonner) who all scored over 20 points. Breanna Stewart powered the Storm with a team-high 27 points, while four other players scored in double-figures. Box Score | Stewart’s Team-High 27 | Taurasi’s Clutch 4th Quarter
Game 1 (Storm 91, Mercury 87): MVP Breanna Stewart did what she has done all season, led her team to victory, with a game-high 28 PTS. Led by Diana Taurasi (25 Pts, 8 Reb, 6 Ast) and DeWanna Bonner (27 Pts, 13 Reb) the Mercury would fight back in the 4th quarter, but clutch buckets by Jewell Loyd (23 Pts, 5 Ast) kept the Storm ahead for the remainder of the game. Box Score | Stewart’s Game-High 28 Pts | DT Drops 25
SECOND ROUND: SINGLE-ELIMINATION
The Washington Mystics controlled the game wire-to-wire, beating the Sparks, 96-64. Elena Delle Donne was one of six players in double figures, leading the team with 19 points and 12 rebounds. The Sparks were led by Candace Parker’s 16 points and 8 rebounds, but was not enough to overcome the Mystics’ balanced attack. Washington moves on to the Best-Of-5 Semifinals against the Atlanta Dream.
The Mercury rallied late behind their All-Star trio to beat the Sun, 96-86. Brittney Griner (27 Pts), Diana Taurasi (27 Pts) and DeWanna Bonner’s (23 Pts) combined 77 points set the record for most points by a trio in a Playoff game. The Sun kept the game close behind Courtney Williams’s 27 points but could not get enough stops down the stretch. The Mercury advance to play the #1 seed Seattle Storm.
FIRST ROUND: SINGLE-ELIMINATION
The Phoenix Mercury rode huge performances from their “Big 3” to beat the Dallas Wings in the First Round Single-Elimination Game. Diana Taurasi led the way with 26 points and 12 assists while DeWanna Bonner (29 points, 11 rebounds) and Brittney Griner (17 points, 5 rebounds) also had valuable contributions. The Dallas Wings were led by Skylar Diggins-Smith as she tallied 23 points and seven assists. The Mercury advanced to the Second-Round single elimination game against the Sun in Connecticut.
Chelsea Gray turned in a strong performance as she put the Sparks on her back in a 75-68 win over the Lynx. Gray scored 26 of the Sparks’ 75 points including a few clutch baskets down the stretch. Nneka Ogwumike and Riquna Williams scored 19 and 17 respectively to support Gray’s effort. The Lynx kept it close with a surprise 15-point outburst from Temi Fagbenle, but could not generate enough stops down the stretch. The Sparks traveled to Washington to face the Mystics in the second round.
FINALS – Last possible game date September 16