Bird remains heart, soul of champion Storm | Sports Columns

Storm guard Jewell Loyd floats to the net for two in the third quarter as the Seattle Storm take on the Washington Mystics for game two of the WNBA Finals at Key Arena in Seattle Sunday

2018 All-WNBA Teams Announced: MVP Stewart Headlines First Team, Taurasi Selected for Record 13th Time

The Seattle Storm clinched their third WNBA championship with a 98-82 win over the Washington Mystics in Fairfax, Virginia Wednesday night.

Sue Bird leaned over toward Breanna Stewart and made sure the current MVP of the WNBA was paying attention to what the oldest player in the league was saying.

In addition to Stewie's impressive stats, forward Natasha Howard hit a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds. And she still had 10 points and 10 assists.

What took place on Wednesday night on the campus of George Mason University, in a green-and-yellow arena turned red-and-blue, would have been hard to imagine just two years ago.

Stewart was a unanimous choice to the all-WNBA first team, the league announced Wednesday, while fellow UConn graduate Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury extended her own record with a 10th first-team selection.

"We feel like we have a lot of young, great talent", Delle Donne said. And it was her performance in the fourth quarter of Game 5 against Phoenix that put Seattle in the championship series, hitting four 3-pointers and scoring 14 of her 22 points during a brilliant six-minute stretch that left the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James singing her praises on social media.

"We just rebuilt this team last year bringing in Elena and Kristi, so to be in the Finals in our second year of rebuilding, I mean that's huge", she said. Toliver and Delle Donne were the team's only players who had reached the WNBA Finals before this year. Case in point: can you imagine planned construction on Capital One Arena during either the National Basketball Association or NHL postseason, forcing the Wizards or Caps to play elsewhere? Bird is the only player to be a member of all three championships won by the Storm.

Erik Karlsson traded to the San Jose Sharks
DeMelo played mostly on San Jose's third defensive pair last season when he had no goals and 20 assists in 63 games. Karlsson, 28, has one year left on his contract and has been the subject of rumors dating to the trade deadline.

"Obviously, this finals didn't go the way we wanted it".

This is likely just the beginning for the dynamic 24-year-old forward, who won the NCAA Championship during each of her four seasons at the University of CT.

She's overcome a knee injury that forced her to sit out the 2013 season and survived a four-year roster reconstruction that resulted in two years of missing the postseason followed by a pair of first-round playoff exits.

ED: "To get her - trust me, I know, I've got you, Panda".

Students kept rooting for the Storm into the fourth quarter, where the game got close, but never close enough. "It really gave us that home court advantage".

"This is probably going to be one of the defining moments of my career to have played however many years I've been playing, to have won in all these places, but then to do it at the end in such a way that was different from all the others, it's really incredible". The club's first-ever trip to the WNBA Finals is even more impressive considering how much better the league is in 2018. If it all sounded a bit mundane a day after the end of the best run in team history, Thibault said: "That's kind of how it goes when you have a good season".

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