The Washington Mystics have won the 2019 WNBA Championship after defeating the Connecticut Sun 89-78 in a sries deciding game 5 to secure their first championship in the franchise’s 21-year history.
The franchise’s first ever season in 1998 got off to a rough start finishing with a record of 3-21 the worst win percentage in WNBA history. They would shake that season off on their way to making their first ever playoff appearance in their third WNBA season although they finished with a 14-18 losing record. They would not achieve their first winning record until their fifth season when they finished 17-15 in 2002. In that season, the Mystics would win their first ever playoff series making it to the Conference Finals.
Between 2003-2016, the Mystics would make the playoffs off and on but were unable to win a playoff series. Following the 2016 season, the Mystics would make two key additions to turn their franchise around acquiring Elena Delle Donne from the Chicago Sky and Kristi Tolliver from the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Mystics proved to be instant title contenders finishing one round shy of the WNBA Finals in the 2017 season. Last season, the Mystics would finish 22-12 tying a then franchise record for wins in a season and appearing in their first WNBA Finals. This series did not go the Mystics way as they were swept 3-0 by the Seattle Storm.
The Mystics would not let this loss get them down as they were determined become WNBA champions for the first time in franchise history. The Mystics felt they were just missing one piece that would help them get them over the hump and that piece would turn out to be Emma Meesseman who missed the 2018 playing overseas for Belgium in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup tournament. She would have a huge impact this season for the Mystics coming off the bench as the team dubbed her the “missing piece”.
The Mystics road to the championship was a dominant one as they had the best record in the league at 26-8 a franchise record for wins in a season. The Mystics were the only team this WNBA season to finish with less than 10 losses. They would clinch home court throughout the postseason and a bye in the first two rounds starting their playoff journey in the Conference Semifinals.
The Mystics would win the series three games to one against the Las Vegas Aces to secure their second straight WNBA Finals appearance facing the Connecticut Sun.
With the WNBA Finals series tied 2-2, the Sun and Mystics would come back to D.C. to play a win or go home game five to see who would be crowned WNBA Champions.
The first three quarters of game five saw both team trading the lead back and forth ending with the Sun taking a 64-62 lead going into the fourth quarter. From there, the Mystics would pull away in the final quarter outscoring the Sun 27-14 in the final quarter to secure the win and the championship.
Emma Meesseman would be named WNBA Finals MVP becoming the first WNBA player to win the award off the bench.
— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) October 11, 2019
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) October 11, 2019
— WNBA (@WNBA) October 11, 2019