The Storm Capped Off The WNBA’s Bubble By Sweeping The Aces In The Finals

For the second time in three years, the Seattle Storm have swept their way to a WNBA championship. The Storm capped off the WNBA’s Bubble in Bradenton, Fla. with an emphatic, 92-59 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night, bringing this season to an end and giving Seattle the latest bit of hardware to toss into its trophy case.

Seattle entered Game 3 looking every bit the juggernaut it is, picking up back-to-back double-digit wins in the series behind Sue Bird’s brilliance as a floor general and the team’s bevy of ways to attack the Aces — Breanna Stewart was magnificent, as were Jewell Loyd, Alysha Clark, and Natasha Howard. On Tuesday, that formula proved fruitful once again.

Things stayed pretty close through the first two quarters. Despite the fact that Stewart (who scored 11 in the half) picked up her third personal foul with 7:13 left in the second and spent the rest of the frame on the bench, Seattle was able to take a 43-34 lead into the locker room. Las Vegas’ A’ja Wilson played like an MVP, scoring 14 points and pulling down four rebounds through the first two quarters, but Loyd picked up the slack while Stewart was on the bench, scoring 10 points and pulling in three rebounds.

And then, the avalanche came, and Las Vegas found itself so far behind the eight ball that the fourth quarter ended up being a mere formality. Seattle started the third on a 12-2 run, coming out of the locker room on fire and creating a cushion that ended up making things seem inevitable well before the final buzzer went off. The offense was crisp, the defense put the clamps on the Aces, and the Storm saw out an absolutely dominant 32-14 edge in the frame.

In the midst of it all, Stewart etched her name in the WNBA’s record book. Seattle followed an Aces miss by pushing the ball up the floor, with Stewart putting her foot on the gas and getting to the bucket unimpeded. Loyd made a spectacular pass, and because of that, Stewart set a record with her sixth-straight 20+ point game in a Finals game.

Seattle managed to lead by as many as 35 en route to the victory. Stewart was tremendous, scoring 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting and reeling in four rebounds in 25 minutes of work. Loyd’s 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals stood out, while Jordin Canada scored 15 off the bench and Clark pitched in 10 with seven rebounds and five assists. Bird didn’t fill it up, scoring five points, but led the game with seven assists. On the other side of things, Wilson’s 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists led the way.

With the win, the Storm picked up their fourth title in franchise history. This mark ties them with the Minnesota Lynx and the now-defunct Houston Comets for the most in WNBA history. And while they’ll deservedly take a whole lot of time to celebrate this accomplishment, with how incredibly good this team is, Seattle will have aspirations of making it back to the promised land next season, whenever that may come.