New Opal claims WNBA title with Seattle

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Out of all of the insane moments in the Storm's series against the Mercury - arguably the most intense five games of the entire playoffs - Bird's Game 5 takeover will likely be the most memorable.

Déjà vu, and champagne, all over again. "I think that what we did as a team for these past four months, we had a goal and that was to win a championship".

That said, their male counterparts showered the Storm with praises on Twitter.

They were pushed in the fourth quarter, when the Mystics rallied to within five with 6:40 to play.

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

Once, twice, three times a champion!

Meanwhile, league MVP Breanna Stewart has been almost unstoppable, averaging 23.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the first two games.

The Storm finished the period ahead 20-16 because they were 4 of 9 on 3-pointers while Washington was 2 of 5. She burned with the desire for similar prosperity in the pros, and made it happen.

Natasha Howard put up a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Storm.

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The first tropical storm-force winds of at least 39 miles per hour (63 kph) were forecast to hit the coast on Thursday. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina , Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Heroes abounded for the Storm.

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.

Hughes says credits his willingness to listen to life, and his wife, for taking on the Storm head coach role.

Some of Seattle's other professional sports teams also were cheering on the Storm. If it all sounded a bit mundane a day after the end of the best run in team history, Thibault said: "That's kind of how it goes when you have a good season".

But it had been eight years since Bird, now 37, and the Storm won in 2010.

The season has not only been her most successful, but her most transformational. Being considered the best of the best is huge props, considering the abundance of legendary players that UConn has produced in the past 25 years from Rebecca Lobo to Nykesha Sales to Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles, and the list goes on and on. 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.

It was the third WNBA crown in as many championship appearances for the Storm. The nucleus is young and still hungry, except for Bird, who is, well, not so young, but still hungry. But Washington is not about to make a roster move out of panic to compete with them.

She joins fellow former Huskies Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones, and Kara Wolters on that list of 11 NCAA, WNBA, Olympic and FBIA champs.

"I think that series, looking back on Phoenix, it's something that we really learned from", Stewart said. It's time to celebrate.

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