Seattle Storm completes sweep of Las Vegas Aces to win fourth WNBA title
With a dominant performance, the Seattle Storm defeated the Las Vegas Aces, 92-59, to win the franchise’s fourth WNBA championship Tuesday evening. After a season where the league moved into a bubble location in Bradenton, FL, at IMG Academy, the Storm became the last team standing after a summer that began with uncertainty over safety due to COVID-19 and with a flurry of social justice activity from players. However, to many preseason pundits, it was no surprise that Seattle won the title.
“It felt like a lot of pressure, the expectations were there,” head coach Gary Kloppenburg said about winning the title. “These are all such good teams from top to bottom down here, every game you had to get prepared for each team in our league. It’s such a high level of basketball, so I’m just really proud of our group. They just stayed together through a lot of weird stuff. It was weird playing a season in a wubble. It’s been historic for our team and the league.”
Led by Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, the Storm completed a 3-0 sweep with the victory. In game three, she tallied 26 points plus four rebounds. Overall, during the best-of-five series with the Aces, she averaged 28.3 points per game, shot 63 percent from the field, and corralled 7.7 rebounds per contest.
Three other Seattle players were double figures. Jewell Loyd earned 19 points plus nine rebounds and four assists. Jordin Canada finished with 15 points plus five rebounds. Alysha Clark accumulated 10 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Veteran point guard Sue Bird, who broke the finals and playoffs record for assists in a game during the first game of the series, dished out seven assists to go along with five points.
Bird played in every Storm championship giving her four title rings. She is the only player in WNBA history to win a championship in three separate decades and just the third professional basketball player to accomplish the feat all time.
The 2020 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson produced 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists for Las Vegas. The only other Las Vegas player in double figures was Jackie Young, who scored 11 points.
The first quarter saw the teams battling evenly, with Wilson leading all scorers with 14. Stewart earned 11 points in the first quarter. The Storm led after the first ten minutes 23-21.
The second quarter saw the Storm pull away and never look back. At the half, Seattle led 43-34 and outscored the Aces 32-14 in the third quarter. The onslaught continued into the last quarter as the Storm outpaced Las Vegas 17-11.
“As we got going, I thought our intensity, our energy, and our disruption really picked up,” Kloppenburg said of his team’s momentum. “The way we came out in the third was just tremendous, we wanted to come out and take their confidence away in that third quarter, and we did a really good job of it.”
- Breanna Stewart has won Finals MVP for the second time in her career already, just the fifth WNBA player of all-time to win the award more than once.
- Bird set multiple assist records over the course of the Finals, with her latest being her 33 assists in a Finals sweep, the highest total of all-time.
- Stewart’s 85 points in a Finals sweep is the second most in WNBA history, with just Angel McCoughtry scoring more in the current Finals format, back in 2011 with the Atlanta Dream, of 93.