Seattle Storm expect tough series against Washington Mystics in WNBA Finals

Seattle Storm players gather in a celebratory huddle after a 94-84 win over the Phoenix Mercury during Game 5 of a WNBA basketball playoff semifinal, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in Seattle. The Storm advanced to the WNBA finals. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Storm expect a tough series against the Washington Mystics as they look to bring home the team's third WNBA championship in franchise history.

Game 1 of the WNBA Finals is set for Friday night at KeyArena.

Alyssa Nelson of Sacramento will be there.

She expects the game to bring out all sorts of emotions.

"I just get teared up even with the introductions. And how amazing it is. And how excited people are for women’s basketball," she told KOMO News after buying her tickets to the game at the box office outside KeyArena on Thursday morning. "It just brings tears to my eyes."

Nelson still has chills from watching the thrilling end to the semifinals against Phoenix on Tuesday night.

Sue Bird scored 14 points in the 4th quarter alone and helped the Storm clinch a trip to the WNBA Finals for the first time in 8 years.

"You know how in some games, people run off to get in their cars and get away? There were only a few of those people. People stayed," Nelson said. "The energy was already high. I thought it couldn’t get any higher. But when she was just on fire and lead the team, it just got louder and everybody was on their feet."

The Storm beat the Mystics twice this season, but the two teams have never met in the post season until now.

Tickets to the game Friday night are going fast.

The Storm are trying to focus on staying consistent.

"You look at those games, you take what you can. But you understand that it’s a new series," Jewell Loyd said after the team's practice on Thursday afternoon.

"We’re not letting anything get to us. And we’ve just been high hopes and we’re keeping the high hopes and the high energy that we have going," added Natasha Howard.

"Yes, it’s the finals and it’s different. But our approach has been the same," added Bird.

The Mystics know how to spread the floor, Bird said.

They're a great offensive rebounding team, added Storm Head Coach Dan Hughes.

Hughes wants his players to be tough and focus on their strengths, he said.

They're only 3 wins away from a championship.

"They’re a lot like us. They do some things offensively like us, so it’s not all scripted. It’s basketball. They’ll play basketball and they’ll space you really well. So, we’re making sure that we get that kind of in our heads," Hughes told reporters.

"The KeyArena crowd has just been unbelievable. I mean – That’s an advantage," he added. "Anybody who’s been in that building the latter part of this season and felt that atmosphere. It’s not only for us that we want to do this, but we want to do this for them."

That would mean the world for fans like Nelson, who once played basketball herself.

She's excited about how far this team has come.

It's obvious this city is, too.

"Go Storm!" she exclaimed as another Storm fan passed by her.

Game 1 of the WNBA Finals begins at 6 P.M. Friday. Game 2 will also be held at KeyArena. Tip-off is set for 12:30 P.M. Sunday.

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