Natasha Howard helps lead Seattle Storm to WNBA title

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

Rightfully so, the team's 3-0 sweep of the Washington Mystics in the Finals caught the attention of National Basketball Association stars such LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, among others.

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It's the first WNBA championship for Stewart, who scored 30 points in a 98-82 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 3 of the best-of-five series.

"Way at the beginning, I said at the start, I was exhausted of losing", Stewart said.

"Every one of us, one through 12, the coaching staff ... helped us reach this point".

Lost in all of that Game 5 commotion was Stewart's strong performance, something that Bird said happens too often. The Storm know they won't be able to completely neutralize Washington's star tandem, which is averaging a combined 23.5 points in the best-of-five series, but Seattle must look to limit their touches and attempts.

Breanna Stewart scored a playoff career-high 30 points as Seattle dominated Washington.

In Game 1, Washington made just 3 of 21 shots from beyond the arc.

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The Seattle Storm's championship-clinching Game 3 of the 2018 WNBA Finals earned a 0.4 metered-market rating last night, the highest-rated WNBA Finals game on ESPN2 since 2010 (tied with six other Finals games). From there, it was smooth sailing to the 16-point win.

The championship was Seattle's third in WNBA history.

When I got her the next year with the U-19, even the amount of improvement in that one year was incredible.

"There was a moment at the end with like a minute or so left, I think it was the last timeout when we had a chance to huddle and I said, 'Guys we did this". We went through a rebuild a couple of years ago, and who would know we get here this quickly. It didn't go our way, but you've got to keep things in perspective, and everybody else in the league wishes that they were playing tonight, and so we're very aware of that and thankful that we were here, and we know we can improve.

A masked Sue Bird, the oldest player in the league, finished the game with 10 points and 10 assists. Their combined 59 points alone accounted for more than 61 percent of the Storms' points.

"You can't be unsuccessful if you're in the Finals", Kristi Toliver said. Washington already has staved off elimination on three occasions this postseason: The Mystics routed Los Angeles in a single-elimination second-round matchup at home; they won Game 4 at home in the semifinals; and then they won on the road in a squeaker over Atlanta in Game 5 to advance to the WNBA Finals.

Stewart added the playoff MVP to her trophy case after winning the same award for the regular season.

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