WNBA Finals logo
WNBA Finals logo

The WNBA Finals are the championship series of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the conclusion of the league's postseason each fall. The series was named the WNBA Championship until 2002. Starting 2016 Verizon is the official sponsor.

The series is played between the winners of the playoff semifinals. At the conclusion of the championship round, the winner of the WNBA Finals is presented the championship trophy. The WNBA Finals has been played at the conclusion of every WNBA season in history, the first being held in 1997.

Since 2005, the winner of the WNBA Finals has been determined through a 2–2–1 format. The first, second, and fifth games of the series are played at the arena of the team who earned home court advantage by having the better record during the regular season.

History

Further information: WNBA Playoffs

The WNBA's playoff format has changed several times in the league's history. From 1997 to 1998, a single championship game was held to decide the champion. In 1998, after the addition of two teams, the WNBA Finals were turned into a best-of-three games series. The finale series was known as the WNBA Championship from 1997 to 2001, before changing to reflect its NBA counterpart. In 2005, the WNBA Finals adopted a best-of-five format. In 2016, the WNBA changed to its current playoff format seeding teams #1 through #8 regardless of conference making it possible for two Eastern Conference or two Western Conference teams to meet in the Finals.

Year Winner Result Runner-up Finals MVP TV
1997 Houston Comets[a] 1–0 New York Liberty Cynthia Cooper NBC
1998 Houston Comets 2–1 Phoenix Mercury[b] Cynthia Cooper Game 1 and 3: ESPN
Game 2: NBC
1999 Houston Comets 2–1 New York Liberty Cynthia Cooper Game 1: Lifetime
Game 2 and 3: NBC.
2000 Houston Comets 2–0 New York Liberty Cynthia Cooper Game 1: Lifetime
Game 2: NBC.
2001 Los Angeles Sparks 2–0 Charlotte Sting Lisa Leslie Game 1: ESPN
Game 2: NBC.
2002 Los Angeles Sparks 2–0 New York Liberty Lisa Leslie Game 1: ESPN
Game 2: NBC.
2003 Detroit Shock 2–1 Los Angeles Sparks Ruth Riley ESPN2
2004 Seattle Storm 2–1 Connecticut Sun Betty Lennox ESPN2
2005 Sacramento Monarchs 3–1 Connecticut Sun Yolanda Griffith Game 1, 2 and 4: ESPN2
Game 3: ABC.
2006 Detroit Shock 3–2 Sacramento Monarchs Deanna Nolan ESPN2
2007 Phoenix Mercury 3–2 Detroit Shock Cappie Pondexter ESPN2
2008 Detroit Shock 3–0 San Antonio Silver Stars Katie Smith ESPN2
2009 Phoenix Mercury 3–2 Indiana Fever Diana Taurasi ESPN2
2010 Seattle Storm 3–0 Atlanta Dream Lauren Jackson Game 1: ABC
Game 2 and 3: ESPN2.
2011 Minnesota Lynx 3–0 Atlanta Dream Seimone Augustus Game 1: ESPN
Game 2 and 3: ESPN2.
2012 Indiana Fever 3–1 Minnesota Lynx Tamika Catchings Game 1, 3 and 4: ESPN2
Game 2: ESPN.
2013 Minnesota Lynx 3–0 Atlanta Dream Maya Moore Game 1: ESPN
Game 2 and 3: ESPN2.
2014 Phoenix Mercury 3–0 Chicago Sky Diana Taurasi Game 1: ABC
Game 2: ESPN
Game 3: ESPN2.
2015 Minnesota Lynx 3–2 Indiana Fever Sylvia Fowles Game 1: ABC
Game 2, 3 and 5: ESPN2
Game 4: ESPN.
2016 Los Angeles Sparks[c] 3–2 Minnesota Lynx Candace Parker Game 1: ABC
Game 2, 4 and 5: ESPN
Game 3: ESPN2.
2017 Minnesota Lynx[d] 3–2 Los Angeles Sparks Sylvia Fowles Game 1: ABC
Game 2 and 3: ESPN2
Game 4 and 5: ESPN.
2018 Seattle Storm 3–0 Washington Mystics Breanna Stewart Game 1: ESPNews
Game 2: ABC
Game 3: ESPN2.
2019 Washington Mystics[e] 3–2 Connecticut Sun Emma Meesseman Game 1 and 2: ESPN
Game 3: ABC
Game 4 and 5: ESPN2.
2020 Seattle Storm[f] 3–0 Las Vegas Aces Breanna Stewart Game 1: ESPN2
Game 2: ABC
Game 3: ESPN.
2021 Chicago Sky 3–1 Phoenix Mercury Kahleah Copper Game 1: ABC
Game 2 and 4: ESPN
Game 3: ESPN2.
  1. ^ Due to the WNBA's playoff structure in 1997, two Eastern Conference teams met in the championship game
  2. ^ Due to the WNBA's playoff structure in 1998, two Western Conference teams met in the championship series
  3. ^ Due to the WNBA's playoff structure in 2016, two Western Conference teams met in the Finals.
  4. ^ Due to the WNBA's playoff structure in 2017, two Western Conference teams met in the Finals.
  5. ^ Due to the WNBA's playoff structure in 2019, two Eastern Conference teams met in the Finals.
  6. ^ Due to the WNBA's playoff structure in 2020, two Western Conference teams met in the Finals.

Highlights

Finals appearances

Statistics below refer to series wins and losses, not individual game wins and losses. Teams in red have folded and can no longer reach the WNBA Finals.

Finals Team Wins Losses Pct. Years Won Years Lost
6 Minnesota Lynx 4 2 .667 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 2012, 2016
5 Los Angeles Sparks 3 2 .600 2001, 2002, 2016 2003, 2017
5 Phoenix Mercury 3 2 .600 2007, 2009, 2014 1998, 2021
4 Houston Comets 2 4 0 1.000 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000
4 Seattle Storm 4 0 1.000 2004, 2010, 2018, 2020
4 Dallas Wings 3 3 1 .750 2003, 2006, 2008 2007
4 New York Liberty 0 4 .000 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002
3 Indiana Fever 1 2 .333 2012 2009, 2015
3 Atlanta Dream 0 3 .000 2010, 2011, 2013
3 Connecticut Sun 0 3 .000 2004, 2005, 2019
2 Chicago Sky 1 1 .500 2021 2014
2 Sacramento Monarchs 4 1 1 .500 2005 2006
2 Washington Mystics 1 1 .500 2019 2018
2 Las Vegas Aces 5 0 2 .000 2008, 2020
1 Charlotte Sting 1 0 1 .000 2001

Records

This table shows a list of records through the history of the WNBA Finals.

Finals records
Milestone Player Team Date Information
Points, individual Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream October 5, 2011 38 points
Rebounds, individual Sylvia Fowles Minnesota Lynx October 4, 2017 20 rebounds
Assists, individual Sue Bird Seattle Storm October 2, 2020 16 assists
Steals, individual Kristin Haynie Sacramento Monarchs August 30, 2006 5 steals
Blocks, individual Brittney Griner Phoenix Mercury September 7, 2014 8 blocks
Points, team N/A Phoenix Mercury September 29, 2009 120 points vs. Indiana (OT)
Rebounds, team N/A Detroit Shock September 8, 2007 50 rebounds vs. Phoenix
Assists, team N/A Seattle Storm October 4, 2020 33 assists vs. Las Vegas
Steals, team N/A Connecticut Sun October 8, 2004 15 steals vs. Seattle
Blocks, team N/A Minnesota Lynx October 2, 2011 11 blocks vs. Atlanta
Career wins, coach Van Chancellor
Cheryl Reeve
Houston Comets
Minnesota Lynx
1997-2000
2011-2017
4 wins
Margin of victory N/A Seattle Storm October 6, 2020 33-point win (92-59)
over Las Vegas
Attendance, one game N/A Detroit Shock September 16, 2003
September 16, 2007
22,076

See also

References