WNBA Finals 2018: TV, Live-Stream Schedule for Mystics vs. Storm

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2018

Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne (11) reacts next to Ariel Atkins, right, during the second half of Game 4 of a WNBA basketball playoffs semifinal against the Atlanta Dream, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

The Washington Mystics and Seattle Storm will clash in the 2018 WNBA Finals after they won their respective Game 5s on Tuesday night.

The Mystics, led by a hobbled Elena Delle Donne, outlasted the Atlanta Dream 86-81 to clinch the franchise's first trip to the Finals. Meanwhile, the Storm punched their ticket to the title tilt with a 94-84 triumph over Diana Taurasi and the Phoenix Mercury.

Here's a look at when and where all the action will unfold as the WNBA prepares to crown a new champion.

     

WNBA Finals Schedule

Game 1: Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm; Friday, Sept. 7, 9 p.m. ET (ESPNews)

Game 2: Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm; Sunday, Sept. 9, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)

Game 3: Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics; Wednesday, Sept. 12, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 4*: Seattle Storm at Washington Mystics; Friday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 5*: Washington Mystics at Seattle Storm; Sunday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

* denotes if necessary

All games available to stream through WatchESPN.

     

Preview

Everything in Washington starts with Delle Donne even though she's operating at less than 100 percent after suffering a left knee bone bruise in Game 2 of the semifinals.

The 2015 WNBA MVP has been a force throughout the postseason, and she came up clutch again Tuesday with 14 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two blocks to rattle off her fifth straight double-double.

Delle Donne was joined in double figures Tuesday by rookie Ariel Atkins (20 points), Kristi Toliver (19 points) and Tianna Hawkins (17 points)—all of whom will be major factors in the Finals.

Toliver, in particular, can't be ignored. The University of Maryland product is an ideal floor-spacing complement next to an inside-out player of Delle Donne's caliber, and she can swing a game in a matter of moments if she settles into a rhythm from beyond the arc.

And then there's Atkins.

The seventh pick in the 2018 draft, Atkins has steadily developed into a key piece of Washington's core and dropped at least 14 points in five of the team's six postseason games. On Tuesday, she experienced her finest outing yet and piled up a game-high 20 points with eight free throws—the same number Atlanta made as a team—three dimes and six offensive boards.

Pair those all-around contributions with Delle Donne's double-double dominance and Toliver's shooting, and the Storm figure to have their hands full.

Seattle, though, has the firepower to go toe-to-toe with a deep Mystics team.

Led by Sue Bird and MVP Breanna Stewart, the Storm finished the regular season with the league's second-most efficient offense (108.1 points per 100 possessions).

Not surprisingly, those two carried the Storm and handed Taurasi (13-1) her first career loss in an elimination game Tuesday night.

Stewart was Seattle's steadiest scorer with a game-high 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting, but Bird put the Mercury away with a blistering 14-point fourth-quarter display after logging eight points over the first 30 minutes.

If that performance was any indication, Bird will likely come out on fire as she eyes her third title in as many opportunities with the Storm after hoisting the championship hardware back in 2004 and 2010.

Sprinkle in contributions from Jewell Loyd and the always imposing Natasha Howard, and Seattle could have the formula necessary to spoil Washington's inaugural run to the Finals.

  

Stats courtesy of WNBA.com.

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