The Seattle Storm overcame a slow first quarter to win it’s fourth WNBA title it’s second WNBA Title in three years. After falling behind by nine points early in the first quarter the Storm used a 21-10 run to end the first quarter with a 23-21 lead and never looked back. Finals MVP Breanna Stewart had 11 of the Storm’s first quarter points.
“It felt like a lot of pressure, the expectations were there,” head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “These are all such good teams from top to bottom down here, every game you had to get prepared for each team in our league. It’s such a high level of basketball, so I’m just really proud of our group, they just stayed together through a lot of weird stuff, it was weird playing a season in a Wubble. It’s been historic for our team and the league.”
JEWELL LOYD PICKS UP THE SLACK
After he productive first quarter Stewart sat out most of the second because of foul trouble. Enter Jewel Loyd who picked up the scoring baton scoring 10 points by halftime and helping Seattle separate, leading 43-34.
The Storm’s defense held the Aces to just 40.6% shooting, and carried that momentum over into the second half. The Storm outscored the Aces 32-14 in the third quarter, shooting 66.7% from the field and blowing the game completely open with a balanced scoring attack. Through three quarters, Seattle held Las Vegas to just 36.7% shooting and forced 15 turnovers.
“As we got going I thought our intensity, our energy and our disruption really picked up,” Kloppenburg said. “The way we came out in the third was just tremendous, we wanted to come out and take their confidence away in that third quarter and we did a really good job of it.”
Seattle opened the floodgates in the third and early in the fourth quarter, taking as large as a 35-point lead late in the game. The Storm featured four double-digit scorers, shot nearly 50% from the field, and held the Aces to just 34.4% shooting for the dominant win in Game 3.
STEWART LEAD THE WAY
Stewart found her touching in the third quarter and finished the game with 26th and won her second Finals MVP of her career, she’s one of just five players in league history to do so.“
She’s one of those players, a generational player, that comes through once in a while,” Kloppenburg said. “To face adversity and even get stronger because of it. I think that’s what we saw with her. She missed a whole year and she came back as a better player in pretty much every category on both sides of the ball.”
TOP STAT TO KNOW
It has been 207 days since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own apartment. There has still been no justice.
- Sue Bird is the only player in WNBA history to win a championship in three separate decades, and just the third professional basketball player to accomplish the feat all time.
- Breanna Stewart has won Finals MVP for the second time in her career already, just the fifth WNBA player of all-time to win the award more than once.
- Bird set multiple assist records over the course of the Finals, with her latest being her 33 assists in a Finals sweep, the highest total of all-time.
- Stewart’s 85 points in a Finals sweep is the second most in WNBA history, with just Angel McCoughtry scoring more in the current Finals format, back in 2011 with the Atlanta Dream, of 93.
- Jordin Canada’s 15 points were a Finals career-high, and it’s the second straight game Canada has logged double-digit scoring.
LAS VEGAS HIGHLIGHTS
- The Aces featured two double-digit scorers in A’ja Wilson (18 points) and Jackie Young (11 points). Wilson scored in double figures in every game of the playoffs, and 20 or more in four postseason contests.
- Angel McCoughtry finished the Finals shooting 66.7% from three-point land, and finished the postseason shooting 55% from distance.
- Carolyn Swords grabbed 10 rebounds, her second double-digit rebound g