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Stewart caps long road back from injury with MVP title

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(Reuters) - Breanna Stewart showed exactly why she is considered the WNBA’s most lethal talent by scoring 26 points in Game Three of the championship series on Tuesday to help the Seattle Storm sweep the Las Vegas Aces and claim the Finals’ MVP crown.

The 26-year-old missed the entire 2019 season with an Achilles injury but showed no signs of rust in Seattle’s ruthless playoff run, scoring 20 or more points in six straight games and 85 in the Finals alone.

“I remember where I was last year during the WNBA Finals, and I was in North Carolina with my family, and it was hard for me not to be upset because I wanted to be a part of the league,” said Stewart, the regular season and Finals MVP in 2018 when the Storm last won the title.

“To be able to be here, to get through all that we’ve gone through as a team obviously individually, it’s an amazing feeling.”

Stewart, who made half of her 34 shots from three-point range in the playoffs, kept the pressure up even after the Storm took a commanding lead on Tuesday, scoring 12 points in the third quarter alone.

She said the team victory -- alongside long-time veteran and now four-time champion Sue Bird -- held greater importance for her than being voted the unanimous MVP.

“I wanted to win a ring, and that was the priority,” said Stewart.

“Whatever else comes, comes. But getting another ring, getting another opportunity to play with Sue was what was most important, and whether it was unanimous or not, who cares.”

Reporting by Amy Tennery

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