Seattle Storm rout Washington Mystics in Game 1 of WNBA Finals

The Mystics’ Natasha Cloud works against the Storm’s Sue Bird in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals. (Getty Images)

It was raining buckets, and assists, for the Seattle Storm on Friday night.

In Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, the Storm dominated from the get-go and beat the Washington Mystics 89-76.

The Storm also had twice as many assists as their opponent: 23-11.

Natasha Howard, Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart combined for 64 points in the rout as Seattle is looking to win its third championship in program history.

Loyd led the Storm with 23 points, including 3-for-3 shooting from long range.

Sue Bird, the Storm’s Game 5 hero, did not light up the scoreboard this time, tallying just four points. The veteran led the offense, though, with a game-high seven assists.

Ariel Atkins led Washington with 23 points and Natasha Cloud had a team-high five assists. Former MVP Elena Delle Donne added 10 points and seven rebounds, but shot just 4-of-11 from the field in her second game back from a knee injury she suffered in the conference finals.

When asked about her knee after the game, Delle Donne was blunt.

“Let’s talk about my knee after this series. Excuses are for losers,” Delle Donne said. “If I wanted to be 100 percent, I wouldn’t have come back. I knew coming into this thing, I was going to have to figure out a different way to play.”

Seattle led by as many as 24 points before a late Washington pushed closed the gap. The Mystics cut it down to 16 and 18 late in the fourth quarter but the Storm had an answer each time, finishing the game shooting 54 percent from the field.

Game 2 will be on Sunday in Seattle with the Mystics looking to even the best-of-five series before returning back home.