Sue Bird and Seattle Storm Beat the Las Vegas Aces to Win 4th WNBA Championship in Franchise's History
The WNBA became the second North American professional sports league to crown a champion during the coronavirus pandemic
On Tuesday night, the WNBA crowned its newest champions.
Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm won the WNBA title after facing the Las Vegas Aces in game three of their best of five series.
The Storm beat the Las Vegas Aces 92-59, marking a three-game sweep and the team's second championship in the last three seasons, CBS News reported. The Storm now join the ranks of the Houston Comets and Minnesota Lynx with the most titles in WNBA history.
The Storm have only lost one game in all of their Finals appearances, CBS News reported.
Megan Rapinoe celebrated Bird, her girlfriend, and the Storm's monumental victory with some photos on her Instagram Stories Tuesday night.
Sharing a photo of confetti on the court, the Seattle Reign star wrote, "Can't only mean one thing."
In another snap, Rapinoe, 35, shared a photo of Bird, 39, holding a bottle of champagne and four fingers for her team's fourth championship.
Seattle took a commanding lead early in the championship round by securing a 2-0 record heading into Game 3. The lead was spurred on thanks to dominating performances from Breanna Stewart, Natasha Howard and Alysha Clark, as noted by ESPN.
Bird also helped the Storm set a Finals assists record during Game 2 by amassing 10 of the team's 33 assists. Before that, Bird racked up 16 assists for another WNBA Finals and playoffs record in Game 1, Sports Illustrated reported.
Heading into the series, the Storm were three-time WNBA champions, having won every Finals they've reached (2004, 2010, and 2018).
Before entering Game 3, Stewart was confident in the team's abilities to close out the series.
"This is our moment to really finish the series and take home a championship," Stewart told the Seattle Times. "So we’re going to continue to be sharp, be better than what we were in Game 1 and Game 2, and leave it all on the court."
This was the first time the Aces have reached the WNBA Finals since moving to Las Vegas in 2018. Despite putting the Aces in an early series deficit, Seattle coach Gary Kloppenburg remained cautious about getting too comfortable.
"This is a very, very good team we’re playing, or they wouldn’t be here," Kloppenburg said after Game 2, according to Seattle Times. "So you know you’re going to get their best shot, and they’re going to make runs during the game. I thought they made their run, and I thought we withstood it."
“We know we’re going to get their best shot, so we have to be mentally and physically ready to try to match anything they throw at us, and come out with a lot of energy,’’ he added.
If there were any team to mount a comeback down 0-2, it would be the Aces. The team is coached by NBA legend Bill Laimbeer and is home to league MVP A’ja Wilson.
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"If we’re in attack mode, I think that’s a great thing,” Wilson said to the New York Times on Monday. "That means we’re not shy, we’re not backing down. We’ll continue to do us, get to the free-throw line as much as we can."
Following the NHL, the WNBA has now become the second North American professional sports league to crown a champion amid the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA Finals are currently underway, with the Los Angeles Lakers holding a 2-1 lead over the Miami Heat.