WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne had 21 points and nine rebounds in the Washington Mystics' win against the Connecticut Sun in Game 5 of the 2019 WNBA Finals. Photo courtesy of Lorie Shaull/Wikimedia Commons
Oct. 11 (UPI) -- The Washington Mystics outscored the Connecticut Sun 27-14 in the fourth quarter for a comeback victory in the deciding Game 5 of the 2019 WNBA Finals, winning their first title in franchise history.
WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne had 21 points and nine rebounds in the 89-78 win Thursday at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. Mystics star Emma Meesseman recorded a team-high 22 points off the bench and won WNBA Finals MVP.
"This feels so good," Delle Donne told reporters. "It's hard to even put into words, but to win this and win this with such a great group of people, I think that's what makes this so special.
"We wanted to win this for the person next to us. It wasn't about winning it for ourselves, and to get this done and to get this for somebody like [LaToya Sanders], who's an absolute anchor for this team, that's what means the most, and that's what we're going to take away, and that's what we'll remember forever."
Jonquel Jones scored six points in the opening quarter, but the Mystics used a balanced attack to gain a 23-20 advantage. Alyssa Thomas added eight points in the second quarter, helping the Sun to a 43-42 halftime edge. Connecticut pushed their lead to 64-62 in the third quarter, despite Meeseman's 11 points in the frame.
"I just really, really wanted to win this game, so I just came on the court, and I knew that it was a moment that we needed some energy, and I was just going at the basket, and it was going in, so I just kept going," Meeseman said.
The Mystics then clawed back into the game, outscoring the Sun by 13 in the fourth quarter. Natasha Cloud scored eight of the Mystics' first 10 points in the fourth frame, pushing Washington to a 72-70 advantage, which they wouldn't surrender. Washington used a 13-2 run down the stretch to secure the victory.
"They were aggressive," Sun star Alyssa Thomas said. "They found something that was working and kept going back to it, and we struggled to slow it down, and then we couldn't put the ball in the hoop on the other end, and we can't let that happen."
Thomas had 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists in the loss. Jones led the Sun with a game-high 25 points. Kristi Toliver and Cloud each scored 18 points for the Mystics.
Delle Donne helped lead the Mystics to the title despite injuring her back in Game 3 of the series. Cloud told reporters after the game that Delle Donne played in Game 5 with three herniated discs.
"I think one of the best things about this team is the camaraderie and the family atmosphere on this team," Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said. "They love each other. They played for each other.When we had our toughest moment tonight in the third quarter, we banded together, played like we had all year."