The 2019 WNBA Finals are underway and No. 1 seed Washington Mystics strike first, earning a 95-86 win over No. 2 seed Connecticut Sun.
Washington, which has never won a WNBA title in its franchise's 21-year existence, is now two wins away from the first championship in franchise history as the WNBA Finals format is best-3-out-of-5.
The Mystics were led by 2019 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne, who scored a team-high 22 points (on 8-13 shooting) to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes of action.
EDD (@De11eDonne) stepped up big in Game 1 with 22 PTS, 10 REB & 5 AST to help lead the @WashMystics to the W! #WatchMeWork #WNBAFinals pic.twitter.com/gn34yogFE0- WNBA (@WNBA) September 29, 2019
Forward Ariel Atkins added an efficient 21 points (on 6-7 shooting) in just 23 minutes of play. Kristi Tolliver (18 points), Natasha Cloud (13 points) and Emma Meesseman (11 points) also did their part in carrying the offensive load for the Mystics.
Washington finished the game shooting an impressive 34-for-63 (54.0%) from the field and 10-for-21 (47.6%) from beyond the arc. The Mystics benefitted from a hot start and didn't look back, leading by as many as 17 points and never trailing in the contest.
In a losing effort, Sun guard Courtney Williams scored a game-high 26 points (on 9-19 shooting) to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Forward Alyssa Thomas played for all 40 minutes and stuffed the stat sheet with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Guard Jasmine Thomas failed to get going for Connecticut as she finished the game with just seven points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field.
These two teams will be back in action on Wednesday as Washington hosts Game 2. The Mystics' 14-3 record at home in the 2019 regular season was the second-best mark in the league, while the Sun were 8-9 on the road during the regular season.
In other words, it won't be easy for Connecticut to win its first title in franchise history, either, as it requires stealing home court from Washington.