In Game 2, the Mystics missed all 16 of their three-point attempts, any of which would have been the difference in a two-point loss.
The next wave of WNBA stars will be led by Stewart a product of a UConn Huskies machine that brings a culture of leadership, teamwork, talent, championship pedigree and visibility to the WNBA game. Bird scored 10 points (including the final two with under a minute to play) and dished out 10 assists, many on her patented no-look passes.
Rookie Ariel Atkins stepped up behind Elena Delle Donne and Toliver, averaging 11.3 points per game in the regular season and 15.2 in the playoffs, but the experience gap between Atkins and Meesseman is significant.
Stewart wouldn't allow this series to extend past Game 3, she was eager to get the champagne popping. "We'll have another year next year, and we'll continue to get better and see if we can get back".
What was billed as a battle between two of the league's most lethal three-point shooting teams turned into a one-sided display for the Storm.
The legendary University of CT women's basketball coach sat next to his long-time assistant Chris Daley watching the most decorated player they'd ever coach do what she always does - dominate and win.More news: 6 dead in Bakersfield, Calif., mass shooting
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Seattle, already sacred in 2004 and 2010, is the successor to Minnesota, eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Los Angeles Sparks, which are themselves fallen in the next round to face Washington. "I packed really lightly", Collier said.
"It feels great", a bleary-eyed Stewart told reporters as she stepped into Sea-Tac Airport, fresh off of an early-morning flight.
Stewart and Bird have had each had a remarkable year, culminating in a magical end to the season that's been years in the making for their franchise. You have to think big picture, and this team made a lot of great strides from last year into this year. So for me to be here now, not that I didn't enjoy the other ones, but I'm just truly enjoying this right now.
"I mean, Stewie and I joke, I don't know if I should even say this, but at the start of the season we lost to Phoenix at home, and we were like, oh, crap, what kind of year is this going to be, because it didn't - we hadn't clicked yet", Bird said. We have a relatively young team. "Obviously this isn't how we wanted it to end, but it's an experience we can grow from".
It's a good thing the Storm players never let on about the win-it-for-Sue talk. A year ago we were brand new. "Now I can go to the bar and order her everything she needs".
They were pushed in the fourth quarter, when the Mystics rallied to within five with 6:40 to play. "To do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react". "This is probably going to be one of the most defining moments of my career", Bird said Wednesday night.