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Delle Donne leads Mystics to first WNBA championship

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Mystics have won their first WNBA championship, getting 22 points from Emma Meesseman and 21 from banged-up league MVP Elena Delle Donne to beat the Connecticut Sun 89-78 in Game 5 of the Finals on Thursday night.

It was a fitting conclusion to an entertaining series and WNBA season. This was the seventh series in league history that had gone to a deciding Game 5, and the home team has won five of them.

Delle Donne, who has been dealing with a herniated disk in her back, scored four points during a decisive 8-0 run that gave the Mystics an 80-72 lead with under three minutes left.

The victory gave coach Mike Thibault his first WNBA championship. The league’s all-time winningest coach had reached the Finals three times in his career — twice with Connecticut — and last season with Washington, but fell short each time.

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