Basketball WNBA: Seattle sacred for the 3rd time

Isaiah Thomas. Courtesy The Player's Tribune

Isaiah Thomas. Courtesy The Player's Tribune

Seattle withstood a fourth-quarter comeback attempt for a 98-82 victory and a three-game series sweep.

She turns 38 next month after one of her best years in which she averaged 10.1 points and 7.1 assists, a career high and second best in the WNBA, while playing the fewest minutes (26.6) of her career.

"There's been a huge transformation with the culture of this team", said Delle Donne, who was acquired by Washington before the 2017 season. Bird persevered through a long and at times painful rebuild after Jackson's departure, gutted her way through a knee injury that cost her an entire season, determined to still be there when the good times returned.

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Inheriting a team that had finished 15-19 and 16-18 the previous two years, but dripping with talent, he instilled a defensive mindset and placed his trust in the players.

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. The national team left for France on Wednesday morning, where they will play three exhibition games following two games in the the last week of preparation for the tournament.

"It took us a lot of experimenting throughout the year to find our best groove, and we didn't really get it until after the all-star break, and it carried over into the playoffs", he said. "And to do it with this group, the way we did it, I don't even know how to react to be honest". In Game 3, it was do-or-die, win-or-go-home for the D.C. team, but they could not extend their season for the right to a Game 4.

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The Mystics reached the finals after finishing as the number two seed in the Eastern conference with a 22-12 record, receiving a bye to the second round.

"Way at the beginning, I said at the start, I was exhausted of losing", said Stewart, the Finals and league MVP. "We're already onto the next thing".

Now Bird is a champion once again on a young team seemingly at the start of a dynasty. "Obviously this isn't how we wanted it to end, but it's an experience we can grow from".

In July Bird said that she believed Stewart opening up about her past had a connection to the maturity she's seen in Stewart this year, also noting that on the court she seemed more confident and driven. "To have played however many years I've been playing, to have won in all these places, but then to do it at the end in such a way that was different from all the others, it's really incredible". "Now I can go to the bar and order her everything she needs".

ED: "To get her - trust me, I know, I've got you, Panda".

"This is probably going to be one of the most defining moments of my career", Bird said.

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