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Lennox Carries the Load As Storm Captures Title

Wednesday, October 13, 2004; Page D02

Betty Lennox had two WNBA franchises fold while she was on their roster. After the Cleveland Rockers folded last year, she landed with the Seattle Storm in the dispersal draft. Now she's the most valuable player of the WNBA Finals.

Lennox had another huge night, scoring 23 points to lead Seattle to its first title with a 74-60 victory over the visiting Connecticut Sun last night.

Betty Lennox scores 23 points to lead the Storm to their first WNBA title. (Elaine Thompson - AP)

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What happened after the game was hard for Lennox to believe.

"Not only the celebration, the award that I just got. I can't believe it," she said. "Me? After everything I've been through? I'm speechless right now."

Lauren Jackson added 13 points and seven rebounds and Seattle got a big contribution from Kamila Vodichkova, who scored 14 points after being held to a total of seven in the first two games of the finals.

At the buzzer, the Storm players raced to midcourt for a pileup while yellow and green confetti fell from the rafters.

The Storm claimed the city's first major professional sports championship in 25 years, dating from the SuperSonics winning the 1979 NBA title. It also gave Seattle Coach Anne Donovan her first WNBA crown, having missed in 2001 with Charlotte.

Donovan is the first female coach to win a WNBA title, following Houston's Van Chancellor (1997-2000), Los Angeles' Michael Cooper (2001-02) and Detroit's Bill Laimbeer (2003).

Lennox, who scored 27 points in Seattle's Game 2 victory that evened the best-of-three series, kept her momentum going in the decisive third game. She couldn't seem to miss in the second half.

Connecticut's Nykesha Sales, who scored a WNBA Finals-record 32 points in Seattle's Game 2 victory, shot 5 of 12 and was held to 18 points last night. The rest of the Sun starters combined for only 26 points on 7-of-31 shooting.

"I saw a lot of great shots go up. They just didn't go in," Sales said.

-- From News Services


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