2019 WNBA Finals
TeamCoachWins
Washington Mystics Mike Thibault 3
Connecticut Sun Curt Miller 2
DatesSeptember 29 – October 10
MVPEmma Meesseman
Eastern FinalsWashington Mystics defeated Las Vegas Aces 3–1
Western FinalsConnecticut Sun defeated Los Angeles Sparks 3–0
← 2018 WNBA Finals 2020 →

The 2019 WNBA Finals, officially WNBA Finals 2019 presented by YouTube TV for sponsorship reasons, was the best-of-five championship series for the 2019 season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Finals featured the top seeded Washington Mystics facing off against the second seed Connecticut Sun.[1] The Washington Mystics defeated the Connecticut Sun through five turbulent games, with the Mystics winning the odd-numbered games and the Sun emerging victorious through the even-numbered games, exploiting a temporary absence of Elena Delle Donne and drawing upon unrelenting resolve to keep the series going, to make their bid for a championship that ultimately failed after the Mystics resurged in Game 5's final quarter. This was the first-ever Finals win for the Washington Mystics, as well as the Connecticut Sun's third Finals appearance.

Road to the Finals

Standings

# Western Conference W L PCT GB Home Road Conf.
1 Los Angeles Sparks (3) 22 12 .647 15–2 7–10 10–6
2 Las Vegas Aces (4) 21 13 .618 1 13–4 8–9 11–5
3 Seattle Storm (6) 18 16 .529 4 11–6 7–10 10–6
4 Minnesota Lynx (7) 18 16 .529 4 11–6 7–10 7–9
5 Phoenix Mercury (8) 15 19 .441 7 9–8 6–11 5–11
6 e – Dallas Wings 10 24 .294 12 8–9 2–15 5–11
# Eastern Conference W L PCT GB Home Road Conf.
1 Washington Mystics (1) 26 8 .765 14–3 12–5 13–3
2 Connecticut Sun (2) 23 11 .676 3 15–2 8–9 11–5
3 Chicago Sky (5) 20 14 .588 6 12–5 8–9 11–5
4 e –Indiana Fever 13 21 .382 13 7–10 6–11 7–9
5 e –New York Liberty 10 24 .294 16 4–13 6–11 3–13
6 e –Atlanta Dream 8 26 .235 18 5–12 3–14 3–13

Playoffs

Main article: 2019 WNBA Playoffs

 
First round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 11)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 15)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 17 – Sept. 24)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 29 – Oct. 10)
 
              
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Washington Mystics
3
 
 
4
Las Vegas Aces
1
 
 
 
 
 
4
Las Vegas Aces
93
 
 
 
5
Chicago Sky
92
 
5
Chicago Sky
105
 
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
76
 
1
Washington Mystics
3
 
 
 
2
Connecticut Sun
2
 
6
Seattle Storm
84
 
 
 
7
Minnesota Lynx
74
 
3
Los Angeles Sparks
92
 
 
6
Seattle Storm
69
 
 
 
 
 
2
Connecticut Sun
3
 
 
3
Los Angeles Sparks
0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Note: Teams re-seeded after each round.

Semifinals
Team 1 2 3 4
1
Washington Mystics
97 103 75 94
4
Las Vegas Aces
95 91 92 90
Team 1 2 3
2
Connecticut Sun
84 94 78
3
Los Angeles Sparks
75 68 56
WNBA Finals
Team 1 2 3 4 5
1
Washington Mystics
95 87 94 86 89
2
Connecticut Sun
86 99 81 90 78


Summary

This finals was the third time in the four years since the WNBA switched playoff formats in 2016 that two teams from the same conference met in the WNBA Finals. In 2016 and 2017, two teams from the Western Conference met. This would be the first time two teams from the Eastern Conference met in the Finals. This Finals is also the third time that the top two seeds have made it to the finals since the WNBA switched playoff formats in 2016. The lone non-top two seed to make the finals was the third seeded Washington Mystics in 2018.

The Mystic's home court advantage figured to play a critical role in these finals. The Mystics had a 14–3 home record during the regular season and the Connecticut Sun had a 15–2 regular season home record. However, the Mystics had a regular season away record advantage 12–5 vs. 8–9. The Sun won the regular season series 2–1, with the home team winning each game.[2]

Game 1

Ariel Atkins turned around her recent poor form to lead the Mystics to a win in Game 1 of the Finals. Atkins was 5–21 during the Mystic's semifinal series, but scored 21 points in Game 1 of the Finals on 6–7 shooting. Additionally, Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman played for the Mystics. This was a change from the regular season series, where both players did not play. Delle Donne in particular made her presence felt, leading the Mystics with twenty-two points and ten rebounds. The Sun got a big performance from Courtney Williams, who scored a game high twenty-six points. However, the Sun's bench contributed only eight total points, while the Mystic's bench scored sixteen.[3]

September 29
3:00pm ET
Connecticut Sun 86, Washington Mystics 95
Scoring by quarter: 17–30, 29–25, 20–21, 20–19
Pts: Courtney Williams (26)
Rebs: Alyssa Thomas / Jonquel Jones (6)
Asts: Alyssa Thomas (6)
Pts: Elena Delle Donne (22)
Rebs: Elena Delle Donne (10)
Asts: Natasha Cloud (7)
St. Elizabeth's East Arena
Attendance: 4,200
Referees: Roy Gulbeyan
Byron Jarrett
Tim Greene
Cheryl Flores

Game 2

Elena Delle Donne only played 3:20 of the first quarter before experiencing back spasms that saw her miss the remainder of the game. The Sun took advantage of the League MVP's absence and won Game Two by twelve points. The Sun were led by Jonquel Jones who achieved the WNBA Finals' first ever thirty point and fifteen rebound game. Jones finished with thirty-two points and eighteen rebounds. The Mystics were able to tie the score at seventy-six, with eight minutes remaining, but Jones re-entered the game after sitting on the bench with four fouls. She returned to the game and helped the Sun finish off the win. With the series tied at one game apiece, the series heads to Connecticut for the next two games. The Sun now have home court advantage in the series.[4]

October 1
8:00pm ET
Connecticut Sun 99, Washington Mystics 87
Scoring by quarter: 29–17, 27–29, 17–23, 26–18
Pts: Jonquel Jones (32)
Rebs: Jonquel Jones (18)
Asts: Alyssa Thomas / Courtney Williams (6)
Pts: Emma Meesseman (27)
Rebs: Emma Meesseman (8)
Asts: Kristi Toliver (7)
St. Elizabeth's East Arena
Attendance: 4,200
Referees: Michael Price
Maj Forsberg
Tim Greene
Billy Smith

Game 3

Elena Delle Donne played through her herniated disk and contributed 13 points in the Mystics road win. Washington got out to a hot start, going up fifteen points in the first quarter. They then took a five point lead into halftime and never looked back, winning by thirteen points. Their road win brings them within one game of the WNBA Championship. The Mystics had four players score in double figures, with two reaching over twenty points. The Sun also had four players score in double figures, but none reached the twenty point mark.[5]

October 6
3:30pm ET
Washington Mystics 94, Connecticut Sun 81
Scoring by quarter: 32–17, 11–22, 25–18, 26–24
Pts: Emma Meesseman (21)
Rebs: Aerial Powers (8)
Asts: Kristi Toliver (10)
Pts: Shekinna Stricklen / Jasmine Thomas (16)
Rebs: Jonquel Jones (9)
Asts: Alyssa Thomas (9)
Mohegan Sun Arena
Attendance: 9,160
Referees: Eric Brewton
Roy Gulbeyan
Tiffany Bird

Game 4

The Sun stormed out to a fifteen point lead in the first quarter and held off a late Mystics charge to win Game 4, and force a deciding Game 5. The Mystics made a run after halftime, winning the third quarter by sixteen points, and tying the game going into the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to overcome the Sun. Alyssa Thomas starred for the Sun, coming within two rebounds of the first WNBA Finals triple double. Jonquel Jones also recorded a double double for the Sun. The Mystics lead by five at one point in the fourth, but the Sun hit two three pointers to gain the lead for good with 2:22 left. Connecticut went four for four on free throws in the last minute to seal the game.[6]

October 8
8:00pm ET
Washington Mystics 86, Connecticut Sun 90
Scoring by quarter: 17–32, 23–24, 28–12, 18–22
Pts: Aerial Powers (15)
Rebs: Natasha Cloud (7)
Asts: Natasha Cloud (9)
Pts: Jonquel Jones (18)
Rebs: Jonquel Jones (13)
Asts: Alyssa Thomas (11)
Mohegan Sun Arena
Attendance: 8,458
Referees: Michael Price
Maj Forsberg
Byron Jarrett

Game 5

Game five was a tight affair in the first half, with the Sun taking a one point lead into half time. The game continued to be close in the third quarter. The Sun took a two point lead into the final period. However, season MVP Elena Delle Donne scored four of her twenty-one points during an 8–0 run with three minutes left to seal the win for the Mystics. The Mystics won the fourth quarter by thirteen points, and the game by eleven. The win secured the Mystic's their first title in franchise history, and leaves the Sun still looking for their franchise's first title. Emma Meesseman lead the Mystics in scoring, with twenty two points. She was named the Finals MVP and became the first bench player to win the award.[7] Jonquel Jones lead the Sun with twenty-five points and Alyssa Thomas had twenty-one points and twelve rebounds, but it was not enough to overcome the Mystics.[8]

October 10
8:00pm ET
Connecticut Sun 78, Washington Mystics 89
Scoring by quarter: 20–23, 23–19, 21–20, 14–27
Pts: Jonquel Jones (25)
Rebs: Alyssa Thomas (12)
Asts: Alyssa Thomas / Jasmine Thomas (6)
Pts: Emma Meesseman (22)
Rebs: Elena Delle Donne (9)
Asts: Kristi Toliver (4)
St. Elizabeth's East Arena
Attendance: 4,200
Referees: Eric Brewton
Roy Gulbeyan
Maj Forsberg

Team Rosters

Washington Mystics roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From Yrs
G 7 United States Atkins, Ariel 5' 11" (1.8m) 167 lb (76kg) 07-30-1996 Texas 1
G 15 United States Cloud, Natasha 5' 9" (1.75m) 160 lb (73kg) 02-22-1992 Saint Joseph's 4
G/F 11 United States Delle Donne, Elena 6' 5" (1.96m) 187 lb (85kg) 09-05-1989 Delaware 6
F 21 United States Hawkins, Tianna 6' 3" (1.91m) 186 lb (84kg) 03-02-1991 Maryland 5
F 2 United States Hines-Allen, Myisha 6' 1" (1.85m) 200 lb (91kg) 05-30-1996 Louisville 1
G 5 United States Leslie, Kiara 6' 0" (1.83m) 175 lb (79kg) 12-06-1995 NC State R
F 33 Belgium Meesseman, Emma 6' 4" (1.93m) 191 lb (87kg) 05-13-1993 Belgium 5
G 6 Belgium Mestdagh, Kim 5' 9" (1.75m) 154 lb (70kg) 03-12-1990 Colorado State R
G/F 23 United States Powers, Aerial 5' 9" (1.75m) 159 lb (72kg) 07-17-1994 Michigan State 3
F/C 30 United States Sanders, LaToya 6' 2" (1.88m) 170 lb (77kg) 09-11-1986 North Carolina 6
G 20 United States Toliver, Kristi 5' 7" (1.7m) 130 lb (59kg) 01-27-1987 Maryland 10
G 32 United States Walker-Kimbrough, Shatori 5' 9" (1.75m) 140 lb (64kg) 05-18-1995 Maryland 2



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: DALLVLAMINPHOSEA
Head coach
United States Mike Thibault (St. Martin's)
Assistant coaches
United States Marianne Stanley (Immaculata)
United States Eric Thibault (Missouri)
Athletic trainer
United States Chalisa Fonza (Western Illinois)
Strength and conditioning coach
Vacant

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

WNBA roster page

Connecticut Sun roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From Yrs
G 1 United States Banham, Rachel 5' 9" (1.75m) 168 lb (76kg) 07-15-1993 Minnesota 3
G 23 United States Clarendon, Layshia 5' 9" (1.75m) 158 lb (72kg) 05-02-1991 California 6
G 2 United States Hiedeman, Natisha 5' 7" (1.7m) 125 lb (57kg) 02-10-1997 Marquette R
G 32 United States Holmes, Bria 6' 1" (1.85m) 170 lb (77kg) 04-19-1994 West Virginia 2
F/C 35 The Bahamas Jones, Jonquel 6' 6" (1.98m) 190 lb (86kg) 01-05-1994 George Washington 3
F 42 United States Jones, Brionna 6' 3" (1.91m) 230 lb (104kg) 12-18-1995 Maryland 2
F/C 55 United States Plaisance, Theresa 6' 5" (1.96m) 200 lb (91kg) 05-18-1992 LSU 5
G/F 40 United States Stricklen, Shekinna 6' 2" (1.88m) 178 lb (81kg) 07-30-1990 Tennessee 7
F 25 United States Thomas, Alyssa 6' 2" (1.88m) 185 lb (84kg) 04-12-1992 Maryland 5
G 5 United States Thomas, Jasmine 5' 9" (1.75m) 145 lb (66kg) 09-30-1989 Duke 8
F 33 United States Tuck, Morgan 6' 2" (1.88m) 200 lb (91kg) 04-30-1994 Connecticut 3
G 10 United States Williams, Courtney 5' 8" (1.73m) 136 lb (62kg) 05-11-1994 South Florida 3



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: DALLVLAMINPHOSEA
Head coach
United States Curt Miller (Baldwin Wallace)
Assistant coaches
United States Brandi Poole
United States Chris Koclanes




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

WNBA roster page

References

  1. ^ "WNBA Playoffs 2019". wnba.com. WNBA. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  2. ^ "WNBA Finals 2019 predictions: Will Washington Mystics or Connecticut Sun win?". espn.com. ESPN. September 28, 2019. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  3. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (September 29, 2019). "Ariel Atkins sparks Mystics to Game 1 win in WNBA Finals". espn.com. ESPN. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (October 1, 2019). "With Mystics' Elena Delle Donne hurt, Sun even WNBA Finals". espn.com. ESPN. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  5. ^ "Determined Delle Donne the difference for Mystics in Game 3". espn.com. ESPN. October 6, 2019. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  6. ^ "Sun force Game 5 in WNBA Finals with 90-86 win over Mystics". espn.com. The Associated Press. October 8, 2019. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  7. ^ "Emma Meesseman Named WNBA Finals 2019 MVP". wnba.com. WNBA. October 10, 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2019.
  8. ^ "Mystics take title in Game 5 behind Elena Delle Donne, Finals MVP Emma Meesseman". espn.com. The Associated Press. October 10, 2019. Retrieved October 11, 2019.