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Mystics top Sun for first WNBA championship in team history

Elena Delle Donne and Co. avenged last year's Finals loss to win Washington's first ever WNBA Championship, ousting the Sun in five games.

The Mystics are champions for the first time in franchise history after topping the Sun, 89-78, in Game 5 of the WNBA Finals on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Washington and Connecticut were the league's two best teams all season and it was fitting that the two met in this year's Finals. 

Emma Meesseman, who scored 22 points of the bench for the Mystics, was named WNBA Finals MVP. The Belgian native sat out last season and watched as Washington was swept by Seattle in the Finals. Needless to say, the Mystics were more than happy to welcome her back into the fold.

"I was not thinking (of myself) as the missing piece, I was just a teammate," Meesseman said, via ESPN. "I was going to do whatever I could to help my team win a championship."

Jonquel Jones of the Sun led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting. This was the Sun's first Finals appearance since 2005.

Elena Delle Donne, the WNBA's MVP during the regular season, suffered an injury just over three minutes into Game 2 and wound up not returning. She then played in Games 3, 4 and 5 despite a herniated disk in her lower back. The Delaware native averaged 13.4 points over the course of the series, including 21 in Thursday's deciding game.

"I'm just so proud of this team," Delle Donne said after the game. "The way Emma (Meesseman) played like a monster, the way (Natasha Cloud) knocked down huge 3s, every single person deserves this. This is huge."

Aside from last season, Delle Donne previously appeared in the Finals while with the Sky in 2014 before getting swept by the Mercury in three games. She was traded to the Mystics after the 2016 season.

"A lot of people questioned why I went to a team that hadn't been to the playoffs in a while," Delle Donne said. "I saw it with coach (Mike Thibault). I knew he was building something really special. That's why this means so much to get this with him."

This was the Mystics' first championship in 12 playoff appearances.