How sweep it is: Seattle wins its third WNBA title

How sweep it is: Seattle wins its third WNBA title

Prior to taking the court for their final practice before facing the Washington Mystics in Wednesday's Game 3 of the WNBA Finals (ESPN2, 8 p.m. ET), one team was constantly referenced among Storm personnel, from coach Dan Hughes to regular-season MVP Breanna Stewart - and it wasn't the Mystics.

Stewart was the league MVP and was selected the Finals MVP after averaging 25.6 points in the three games.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt sank a 3-pointer with 6:49 left to cut Seattle's 16-point lead at the start of the fourth to five (72-67) and inject a little suspense in a game the Storm controlled for three quarters. Howard, who came to Seattle in an offseason trade with Minnesota, won her second straight WNBA title on Wednesday after finishing with 29 points and 15 rebounds, while shooting 11-of-14 from the field and knocking down both of her 3-pointers. Team captain Sue Bird, a member of a Seattle's championship teams in 2004 and 2010, added 10 points and 10 assists. She was carried to the locker room and did not return.

The sellout crowd of 9,164 at EagleBank Arena screamed: "De-fense, De-fense", one last rally cry for a Washington Mystics facing elimination for the fouth time this season.

The Mystics, on the other hand, didn't have a single player score in double figures, and only had two points off the bench. She was the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Final Four in all four of her college years.

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"We don't feel like we peaked and this is it for us", Elena Delle Donne said.

"They definitely supported us during the season.to see the turnout at the playoffs, it was huge for us", Bird said.

Trust me. I've got a full batch of BreakingT shirts in my closet, and they're the best shirts I own. "We knew what we had to do to actually win a title and that's what we did".

"We'd like to have taken that one last step, but the window for us is open right now", coach Mike Thibault said.

The Storm's championship sparked an outpouring of civic pride from the likes of Seattle natives Isaiah Thomas and Bill Russell, the Boston Celtics legend, who ended his Tweet with a joyful proclamation: #WeRepS3attle. "Now I can go to the bar, order her everything she needs".

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Stewart had stewed during her first two Storm seasons, unwilling to accept mediocrity after such a storied collegiate and Olympic career. Obviously D.C.is a great team, and what they have going is going to be exciting for them in the future. Natasha Howard and Alysha Clark played key roles, too, in a commanding 3-0 series sweep over the Washington Mystics.

It's the Western Conference franchise's third National Basketball Association championship after Australian Lauren Jackson led the side to titles in 2004 and 2010.

"We can really create something here, and I think we've really grown this fan base", said Delle Donne.

"This is probably going to be one of the most defining moments of my career", Bird said.

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