On cusp of 3rd WNBA title, Seattle Storm not about to relax

Breanna Stewart shoots over Elena Delle Donne during game one of the WNBA Finals as the Seattle Storm take on the Washington Mystics Friday

UConn alumna Breanna Stewart glanced over at her teammates with a smile, soaking in the moments after winning the Seattle Storm's third WNBA Title Wednesday night. Stewart drained all four of her three-point attempts in the first half to build Seattle's insurmountable lead.

Natasha Howard, who won a title with the Minnesota Lynx last season, had 29 points on 11-for-14 shooting and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Storm. Stewart, the MVP, and Loyd carried the scoring for much of the season, combining for almost 40 points per game. "The difference between really good teams at this level, can be if you're able to get production from places that you don't normally expect". "Obviously this isn't how we wanted it to end, but it's an experience we can grow from". "God blessed me with an opportunity to coach her and I will be forever grateful". "Sue told us in the huddle that it wasn't going to be easy basically, and it was just how we reacted, how we countered that, and we knew - we got to this point for a reason, also, and it was Game 3 of the Finals, and we were going home with a championship". Getting swept by the talented Storm was disappointing but nowhere near catastrophic for a young team that made it to the franchise's first Finals without one of its linchpins, Emma Meesseman, who did not play this season because of burnout. "We won this thing". "We're poised to get better".

Back in their offices at Capital One Arena on Thursday morning, the Washington Mystics went about the quotidian details of breakdown day before disbanding for the offseason.

Bleary eyed but very happy, the WNBA champion Seattle Storm returned to Seattle on Thursday morning, greeted at Sea-Tac International Airport by a handful of fans and seemingly every media outlet in the state.

Bird was a linchpin in 2004, when the Storm took their first title, and a stalwart in 2010, when they won again. "What she did this year was ahead of schedule for us". "Now I can go to the bar and order her everything she needs".

Taurasi, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, tied for third in the league at 20.7 points per game and was fourth in assists at 5.3 per game.

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Seattle swept the best-of-five series, 3-0.

Despite the misfires, Washington rallied from down 18 points to trailing 72-67 with 6:49 remaining. In the end, the Storm, who dominated the regular season, proved to be the league's best team.

"I'm sure he's going to say we're not invited anyway".

"Each (championship) is special in its own way, but this one is probably going to have a different meaning for me", the 37-year-old veteran point guard said.

And now, 14 years after the initial celebration, Bird is the heart and soul of yet another Seattle team that hugged and mugged and savored the trappings of ultimate victory. "It really gave us that home court advantage".

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