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Seattle Storm Sweep to WNBA Title

  • Parke Brewer

The Seattle Storm won the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) title with a three-game sweep in the finals over the Atlanta Beat. That puts the Storm in exclusive company.

The Storm has become only the fourth professional team to go through the playoffs undefeated while playing at least seven games.

The other teams to do it were ice hockey's 1953 Detroit Red Wings (8-0) and 1961 Montreal Canadians (8-0), and baseball's 1976 Cincinnati Reds (7-0).

Seattle beat both the Los Angeles Sparks and Phoenix Mercury in two straight games to open the WNBA playoffs. The Storm then won the best-of-five finals over the Atlanta Beat, closing out the series Thursday night at home with a close 87-84 victory.

Seattle had clearly been the best team in the regular season, tying the league record for wins with a mark of 28-6. The team is led by Australian Olympic star Lauren Jackson, who earned the WNBA's Most Valuable Player award this year. During the playoffs, the 1.96 meters tall Jackson averaged 21.6 points and almost 10 rebounds per game , both slightly better than her regular season averages.

She was also named the MVP for the finals series and addressed the home crowd in Seattle after the victory.

"I just think our team completely dominated the league this year and we showed it throughout the playoffs," she said. "And thanks to our fans for coming. Yeah, just much love for my teammates."

Jackson and American teammate Sue Bird, both 29, are the only two players who remain from the Seattle team that won its only other WNBA title in 2004.

Since Seattle had lost in the first round the playoffs the last five seasons, Bird said this title is special.

"I know we swept but it was not easy at any point," she said. "So our team couldn't be more excited. There is nothing like setting a goal at the beginning of a season and actually accomplishing it."

Sue Bird now has two WNBA titles to go along with two gold medals that she won with the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team in 2004 and 2008.