The Washington Mystics Beat The Connecticut Sun To Win Their First WNBA Title

It doesn’t get bigger than a winner-take-all battle for a championship. That was the scenario on Thursday night in the nation’s capital β€” after a close-fought victory for the Connecticut Sun in Game 4, the Washington Mystics played host to Game 5 of the WNBA Finals and, after a wildly entertaining 40-minute face-off, the home team emerged victorious by a final score of 89-78.

For the Mystics, it was the first WNBA title in franchise history and there were significant challenges along the way. League MVP Elena Delle Donne was not at full strength for much of the series, scoring only 24 points combined in Game 3 and Game 4, and Washington also trailed by a substantial margin in the eventual clincher. With that said, the Mystics put together a massive push in the second half, using 11 third-quarter points from Emma Meesseman and a stellar closing kick from both Della Donne and Natasha Cloud in the fourth quarter.

After a back-and-forth first half that saw neither team take control, the Sun opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run, putting some distance between themselves and their foes. From there, the Mystics tried to respond but, with 7:02 left in the fourth quarter, Connecticut led by a 70-67 margin. From that point forward, though, it was all Washington, as the team used a 13-2 run over the next 4:08 to take an 80-72 lead they would never relinquish.

Connecticut did mount something of a threat, slashing the lead to six, but Meeseman offered the dagger with a three-point play.

The Mystics then took care of business at the free throw line, living up to their reputation as the best free throw shooting team in WNBA history (as well as the best overall offense in league history), and the end result was a previously elusive title. While Connecticut was also seeking its first championship in franchise history, Washington made the 2018 WNBA Finals, only to be swept by Seattle, and the return trip was far more successful, even if it took five games to secure the trophy and the eventual celebration.

Ultimately, Washington was led by a four-player core in Game 5, with Meesseman (22 points), Della Donne (21 points, nine rebounds), Cloud (18 points, six rebounds) and Kristi Tolliver (18 points) coming through in a big way. Meesseman, for her efforts, ended up taking home Finals MVP honors.

There were highs and lows during the team’s journey to glory but, on the biggest stage, the Mystics outlasted the Sun and, in the process, the two teams combined for a stellar WNBA Finals that ended with a championship in Washington.