2020 WNBA Finals
TeamCoachWins
Seattle Storm Gary Kloppenburg 3
Las Vegas Aces Bill Laimbeer 0
DatesOctober 2 – 6
MVPBreanna Stewart
Eastern FinalsLas Vegas Aces defeated Connecticut Sun 3–2
Western FinalsSeattle Storm defeated Minnesota Lynx 3–0
WNBA Finals

The 2020 WNBA Finals, officially WNBA Finals 2020 presented by YouTube TV for sponsorship reasons, was the best-of-five championship series for the 2020 season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The Finals feature the top seeded Las Vegas Aces facing off against the second seed Seattle Storm.[1] Despite losing both regular season meetings against Las Vegas, the Storm dominated the series, sweeping the Aces in three straight games. Led by Finals MVP Breanna Stewart, Seattle won all three games by double-digits, claiming their second title in three years and fourth in franchise history.

Road to the Finals

Changes due to COVID-19

See also: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports and Suspension of the 2019–20 NBA season

The Finals were less affected than the regular season for the WNBA. Format and seeding remained the same as it has in recent years. However, the teams continued to play at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, thereby eliminating any home court advantages teams might have had in a normal playoffs. Dates for the playoffs remained largely the same as a normal season. No fans were allowed in the arena during the playoffs.[2]

Standings

# Team W L PCT GB Conf.
1 xLas Vegas Aces 18 4 .818 8–2
2 xSeattle Storm 18 4 .818 8–2
3 xLos Angeles Sparks 15 7 .682 3 5–5
4 xMinnesota Lynx 14 8 .636 4 4–6
5 xPhoenix Mercury 13 9 .591 5 4–6
6 xChicago Sky 12 10 .545 6 6–4
7 xConnecticut Sun 10 12 .455 8 7–3
8 xWashington Mystics 9 13 .409 9 6–4
9 eDallas Wings 8 14 .364 10 1–9
10 eAtlanta Dream 7 15 .318 11 5–5
11 eIndiana Fever 6 16 .273 12 4–6
12 eNew York Liberty 2 20 .091 16 2–8


Playoffs

Main article: 2020 WNBA Playoffs

 
First round:
Single elimination
(September 15)
Second round:
Single elimination
(September 17)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(September 20–29)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(October 2–11)
 
              
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Las Vegas Aces
3
 
 
7
Connecticut Sun
2
 
 
 
 
 
4
Minnesota Lynx
80
 
 
 
5
Phoenix Mercury
79
 
5
Phoenix Mercury
85
 
 
 
8
Washington Mystics
84
 
1
Las Vegas Aces
0
 
 
 
2
Seattle Storm
3
 
6
Chicago Sky
81
 
 
 
7
Connecticut Sun
94
 
3
Los Angeles Sparks
59
 
 
7
Connecticut Sun
73
 
 
 
 
 
2
Seattle Storm
3
 
 
4
Minnesota Lynx
0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Note: Teams re-seeded after each round.

Semifinals
Team 1 2 3 4 5
1
Las Vegas Aces
62 83 68 84 66
7
Connecticut Sun
87 75 77 75 63
Team 1 2 3
2
Seattle Storm
88 89 92
4
Minnesota Lynx
86 79 71
WNBA Finals
Team 1 2 3
1
Las Vegas Aces
80 91 59
2
Seattle Storm
93 104 92


Summary

This finals was the fourth time in the five 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 and in 2019 two teams from the Eastern Conference met. This Finals is also the fourth 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 Las Vegas Aces qualified for the finals after finishing first in the regular season standings, which earned them a double-bye into the semifinals. In the semifinals, they defeated the Connecticut Sun in five games.

The Seattle Storm qualified for the finals after finishing second in the regular season standings, which earned them a double-bye into the semifinals. In the semifinals, they defeated the Minnesota Lynx in a three-game sweep.

The Aces won the regular season series 2–0.

Game 1

Game one started tense, with the first quarter finishing 23–21 in favor of the Storm. The Storm extended their lead via a big second quarter, which they won by fifteen points. Seattle took an eighteen point lead into halftime. The Aces came out of halftime strong, winning the third quarter by fifteen points and cut the overall lead to three. However, the Storm won the fourth quarter by eleven points to take the game by thirteen overall. They take a one game lead in the best-of-five series.

The Storm were lead by Breanna Stewart who recorded thirty seven points and fifteen rebounds. Jewell Loyd also contributed 28 points. Sue Bird set a WNBA Finals single game record for assists in a game with sixteen.[3] The Storm's bench contributed fifteen total points. The Aces were lead by Angel McCoughtry with twenty points. A'ja Wilson added nineteen and three other players scored in double digits. The Aces' bench scored sixteen points.

October 2
7:00pm ET
Las Vegas Aces 80, Seattle Storm 93
Scoring by quarter: 21–23, 19–34, 27–12, 13–24
Pts: Angel McCoughtry 20
Rebs: Carolyn Swords 12
Asts: McBride, Young 4 each
Pts: Breanna Stewart 37
Rebs: Breanna Stewart 15
Asts: Sue Bird 16
IMG Academy
Attendance: No in-person attendance
Referees: Eric Brewton, Billy Smith, Cheryl Flores, Isaac Barnett

Game 2

Game two started with the Storm winning the first quarter by seven points. The Aces made a small comeback and won the second quarter by one point. Therefore, the Storm took a lead of six points into half time. The Storm won the third quarter by a point and the fourth quarter by six points to win the game by thirteen points overall. The Storm won the first two games by the same thirteen point margin to take a 2–0 lead in the series.

Five Storm players scored in double digits, including three who scored at least twenty points. Breanna Stewart was the leading scorer with twenty-two points, and she was closely followed by Alysha Clark and Natasha Howard, who both scored twenty-one. Jordin Canada also added ten from the bench. Sue Bird recorded back-to-back double digit assist games, with sixteen in Game one and ten in this game. The Aces had four total players score in double digits. They were lead by A'ja Wilson with twenty and both Angel McCoughtry and Emma Cannon scored seventeen.

October 4
3:00pm ET
Las Vegas Aces 91, Seattle Storm 104
Scoring by quarter: 24–31, 18–17, 26–27, 23–29
Pts: A'ja Wilson 20
Rebs: Angel McCoughtry 8
Asts: Danielle Robinson 10
Pts: Breanna Stewart 22
Rebs: Natasha Howard 8
Asts: Sue Bird 10
IMG Academy
Attendance: No In-Person Attednance
Referees: Maj Forsberg, Byron Jarrett, Tiara Cruse, Isaac Barnett

Game 3

Similar to the first two games, game three started off close, with Seattle clinging to a 23-21 lead at the end of the first quarter. However, the Storm dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the Aces 69-38 through the remaining 30 minutes. The 33 point margin of victory was by far the most lopsided of the series after Seattle had won the first two games by 13 points each.

WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart fittingly lead the Storm in points once again with 26. Jewell Loyd added 19 points and a team-high 9 rebounds while Jordin Canada managed 15 points off the bench. Alysha Clark and Natasha Howard each pulled down seven rebounds and combined for 15 points. Sue Bird added seven assists on the way to her fourth WNBA title, all with the Storm. A'ja Wilson led the Aces in scoring and passing with 18 points and four assists. Jackie Young added 11 points for Las Vegas while Carolyn Swords led the Aces in rebounds with 10.

October 6
7:00pm ET
Las Vegas Aces 59, Seattle Storm 92
Scoring by quarter: 21–23, 13–20, 14–32, 11–17
Pts: A'ja Wilson 18
Rebs: Carolyn Swords 10
Asts: A'ja Wilson 4
Pts: Breanna Stewart 26
Rebs: Jewell Loyd 9
Asts: Sue Bird 7
IMG Academy
Attendance: No in-person attendance
Referees: Michael Price, Eric Brewton, Cheryl Flores, Isaac Barnett

Team Rosters

Las Vegas Aces roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From Yrs
G 15 United States Allen, Lindsay 5' 8" (1.73m) 189 lb (86kg) 1995-03-20 Notre Dame 2
F 11 United States Burdick, Cierra 6' 2" (1.88m) 172 lb (78kg) 1993-09-30 Tennessee 3
C 8 Australia Cambage, Liz 6' 8" (2.03m) 216 lb (98kg) 1991-08-18 Australia 4
F 32 United States Cannon, Emma 6' 2" (1.88m) 190 lb (86kg) 1989-06-01 Florida Southern 1
F 5 United States Hamby, Dearica 6' 3" (1.91m) 189 lb (86kg) 1993-11-06 Wake Forest 5
G 21 United States McBride, Kayla 5' 10" (1.78m) 174 lb (79kg) 1992-06-25 Notre Dame 6
G/F 35 United States McCoughtry, Angel 6' 1" (1.85m) 173 lb (78kg) 1986-09-10 Louisville 10
G 10 United States Plum, Kelsey 5' 8" (1.73m) 145 lb (66kg) 1994-08-24 Washington 3
G 3 United States Robinson, Danielle 5' 9" (1.75m) 137 lb (62kg) 1989-05-10 Oklahoma 8
G 14 United States Rodgers, Sugar 5' 9" (1.75m) 137 lb (62kg) 1989-12-08 Georgetown 7
C 4 United States Swords, Carolyn 6' 6" (1.98m) 215 lb (98kg) 1989-07-19 Boston College 8
F 22 United States Wilson, A'ja 6' 4" (1.93m) 195 lb (88kg) 1996-08-08 South Carolina 2
G 0 United States Young, Jackie 6' 0" (1.83m) 165 lb (75kg) 1997-09-16 Notre Dame 1



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: DALLVLAMINPHOSEA
Head coach
United States Bill Laimbeer (Notre Dame)
Assistant coaches
United States Vickie Johnson (Louisiana Tech)
United States Tanisha Wright (Penn State)




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

WNBA roster page

Seattle Storm roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From Yrs
G 10 United States Bird, Sue 5' 9" (1.75m) 150 lb (68kg) 1980-10-16 Connecticut 16
G 21 United States Canada, Jordin 5' 6" (1.68m) 135 lb (61kg) 1995-08-11 UCLA 2
F 32 Israel Clark, Alysha 5' 11" (1.8m) 167 lb (76kg) 1987-07-07 Middle Tennessee 8
F 6 United States Howard, Natasha 6' 2" (1.88m) 165 lb (75kg) 1991-09-02 Florida State 6
F/C 1 United States Langhorne, Crystal 6' 2" (1.88m) 185 lb (84kg) 1986-10-27 Maryland 12
G 24 United States Loyd, Jewell 5' 10" (1.78m) 148 lb (67kg) 1993-10-05 Notre Dame 5
F 0 Australia Magbegor, Eziyoda 6' 4" (1.93m) 176 lb (80kg) 1999-08-13 Australia R
G 11 Russia Prince, Epiphanny 5' 9" (1.75m) 179 lb (81kg) 1988-01-11 Rutgers 10
C 2 United States Russell, Mercedes 6' 6" (1.98m) 195 lb (88kg) 1995-07-27 Tennessee 2
F 30 United States Stewart, Breanna 6' 4" (1.93m) 170 lb (77kg) 1994-08-27 Connecticut 3
F 3 United States Tuck, Morgan 6' 2" (1.88m) 207 lb (94kg) 04-30-1994 Connecticut 4
G 33 Australia Whitcomb, Sami 5' 10" (1.78m) 145 lb (66kg) 1988-07-20 Washington 3



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: DALLVLAMINPHOSEA
Head coach
United States Gary Kloppenburg (UC San Diego)
Assistant coaches
United States Noelle Quinn (UCLA)
United States Ryan Webb (Seattle)
Athletic trainer

Caroline Durocher



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

WNBA roster page

References

  1. ^ "WNBA Playoffs 2020". wnba.com. WNBA. Retrieved September 30, 2020.
  2. ^ Voepel, Mechelle (June 15, 2020). "WNBA's 22-game regular season, playoffs OK'd". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  3. ^ Maloney, Jack (October 2, 2020). "2020 WNBA Finals: Storm's Sue Bird sets playoff assist record in Game 1 win over Aces". cbssports.com. CBS. Retrieved October 4, 2020.