The Seattle Storm have won the 2018 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) championships. With strong play from Breanna Stewart and others, the team was able to beat the Washington Mystics 98-82 and become WNBA champions for the third time.
Over 9,000 fans came to the WNBA final on Wednesday night. The Storm had won the first two games of the five game series. That meant that the Mystics needed to stop the Storm or hand them the championship.
But the Seattle Storm players were simply too strong to be held back. Breanna Stewart scored 30 points and had 9 rebounds. This was enough to earn her the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Stewart said she tried to ignore the fact that it was a championship game. “I think the way I looked at it was just another game,” she said.
Not far behind her was Natasha Howard, who played strongly under the basket, collecting 29 points and 14 rebounds. Howard and Stewart were a great team. Howard always seemed to be there to grab the rebound if Stewart’s shots fell short.
For team captain Sue Bird, this was not a new experience. She’s won two WNBA championships with the Storm before – one in 2004, and another in 2010. Bird, who is 37 now, and the league’s oldest player, played with a broken nose. Bird is famous for assists – getting the ball to someone who scores a goal. She did not disappoint in this game, scoring 10 points and coming up with 10 assists.
— Breanna Stewart (@breannastewart) September 13, 2018
It’s not that the Washington Mystics didn’t work hard. They were down by 17 points at half-time and came back to within 5 points of the Storm.
But the challenges were too great. The Mystics’ Elena Delle Donne played with a hurt knee and still managed to score 23 points, collect 5 rebounds, and make 4 assists. LaToya Sanders, the Mystics’ center, fell down and wound up leaving the game with a hurt ankle early in the second half.
Many people did not expect the Mystics to make it as far as they did. The Mystics had 22 wins and 12 losses during the regular season, and are going home with the number two place in the league. “They know that what they did this year was special,” said Coach Mike Thibault.
Did you know…?
Even though many people think of basketball as a winter sport, the WNBA regular season runs from the middle of May to the middle of August. This timing allows the women of the WNBA to play in other leagues in foreign countries to earn more money.
Sadly, many of the players need to play in foreign leagues, since the WNBA doesn’t pay very well. Players who are just beginning in the WNBA start out making around $41,000 a year. The most money that a WNBA player can earn is $115,500. The least a male NBA player can earn is $582,180. Even the lowest paid NBA referees make more money than the biggest stars in the WNBA.
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