Wednesday’s Game – Game 3:
- Seattle Storm 98 – Washington Mystics 82 (SEA win series 3-0)
Highlights: Breanna Stewart led the Seattle Storm to their WNBA title Wednesday night, scoring 30 points in a 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 of the best-of-five series. Stewart was the league MVP and was selected the Finals MVP after averaging 25.6 points in the three games. She scored 17 points in the first half as the Storm raced to a 47-30 lead. Natasha Howard added career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm and first-year coach Dan Hughes. Sue Bird, also a member of a Seattle’s championship teams in 2004 and 2010, had 10 points and 10 assists. assists. Elena Delle Donne scored 23 points for the Mystics. Kristi Toliver had 20 points. Washington starting center LaToya Sanders sprained her left ankle diving for a loose ball in the third quarter. She was carried to the locker room and did not return.
Sunday’s Game – Game 2
- Washington Mystics 73 – Seattle Storm 75 (SEA leads series 2-0)
Highlights: Breanna Stewart scored nine of her 25 points in the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Storm held off the Washington Mystics 75-73 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the WNBA Finals. Stewart went nearly 18 minutes of game time without scoring, but was responsible for six of Seattle’s final seven points as the Storm held off Washington’s late rally. Washington’s Kristi Toliver made two difficult jumpers in the final 90 seconds to keep Washington within one, but the Mystics were unable to get a shot up on their next possession trailing 74-73, when Toliver lost the ball going baseline and a mad scramble led to a jump ball Seattle won. The ensuing jump ball between Natasha Howard and Tianna Hawkins ended up in the hands of Jewell Loyd. Seattle was able to run seven seconds off the clock before Alysha Clark was fouled and her free throw gave Seattle a two-point lead. Washington was out of timeouts and couldn’t advance the ball into the front court. Ariel Atkins‘ desperation half-court shot at the buzzer was well off. Elena Delle Donne led the Mystics with 17 points but was scoreless in the fourth quarter, taking just one shot. Toliver and Ariel Atkins both added 15 points for Washington. But the Mystics missed all 16 3-point attempts. Loyd finished with 13 points. Seattle will head to Washington for Game 3 on Wednesday night needing only a split back east to claim the third title in franchise history.
Friday’s Game – Game 1:
- Washington Mystics 76 – Seattle Storm 89
Highlights: Jewell Loyd made 9 of 12 shots and scored 23 points, league MVP Breanna Stewart added 22 points, and the Storm opened the Finals with an 89-76 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night. Loyd scored 10 consecutive points during the second quarter, when Seattle took control thanks to a 16-4 run, and combined with Stewart to score 20 of Seattle’s first 22 points of the third quarter. Seattle led by 27 in the third quarter and 26 early in the fourth quarter. Seattle shot 53 percent, outscored Washington 46-28 in the paint and had 23 assists on 35 field goals. Sue Bird, the hero of Game 5, scored just four points, but her points weren’t needed on this night. Natasha Howard added 19 points, making 8 of 9 shots. Game 2 is Sunday.
Tuesday Games – Game 5:
- Phoenix Mercury 84 – Seattle Storm 94
- Washington Mystics 86 – Atlanta Dream 81
Sunday Games – Game 4:
- Atlanta Dream 76 – Washington Mystics 97
- Seattle Storm 84 – Phoenix Mercury 86
Friday Games – Game 3:
- Atlanta Dream 81 – Washington Mystics 76
- Seattle Storm 66 – Phoenix Mercury 86
Sky Relieve Stocks As GM, Head Coach – The Chicago Sky has relieved Amber Stocks of her duties as general manager and head coach, the team announced today. “The entire organization would like to thank Amber for the hard work and dedication that she has given to the Chicago Sky for the past two seasons,” said Sky President and CEO Adam Fox. “At this time, we felt a change was necessary for the 2019 season. We wish her nothing but the best in the future. Our search for a new coach will begin immediately.” Stocks was named general manager and head coach of the Sky in December 2016, after serving as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks. In her first year with Chicago, Stocks finished the 2017 regular season with a record of 12-22. The Sky recently completed its 2018 campaign with a 13-21 record.
Sparks’ Beard Named WNBA’s Top Defender – Los Angeles guard/forward Alana Beard was surprised but delighted to hear that she had won the WNBA’s defensive player of the year award for the second season in a row. The 5-foot-11 Beard, 36, just finished her 13th season in the WNBA. The Sparks, who made the WNBA Finals the past two seasons and won the league title in 2016, finished sixth this year at 19-15. They won their first-round playoff game against Minnesota, but then lost in the second round to Washington. Beard got 16 votes from a media panel. Minnesota center Sylvia Fowles, who has won the defensive award three times, was second with nine votes. Atlanta guard Tiffany Hayes received four votes, and teammate Jessica Breland, a Dream forward, got two. Phoenix center Brittney Griner also received two votes, while six players received one vote each. Beard was fourth in the league in steals this season at 1.47 per game. The Sparks as a team led the WNBA in that category (7.94 per game) and in average points allowed (77 PPG).