"It feels great," Lynx center Taj McWilliams-Franklin said after her team been Phoenix 103-86 Sunday at US Airways Center before 8,671 to win the Western Conference playoffs title.
It was a 2-0 sweep in the best-of-three series; the Lynx won the first game 95-67 on Thursday at the Target Center.
"It has been a long road," McWilliams-Franklin said. "We fought through a lot of adversity. Anywhere from people in the beginning at Minnesota, media saying that we did not have enough veterans that had been in the playoffs to beat veteran teams.
"Some people even questioning their own selves about what we can do in the playoffs."
Rookie Maya Moore said the Lynx had a great sense of urgency on Sunday. "There are maybe a few moments there where we needed to pick it up, where we kind of lost our edge," she said, "because Phoenix had their backs to the wall. You expect that from them.
"But collectively [it was] our veterans stepping up, Just constantly communicating and doing it by example, setting the tone."
All five starters scored in double figures as did Jessica Adair off the bench. She had 10 points.
McWilliams-Franklin called the WNBA finals being a fabulous dessert after a great meal so far.
"I want to taste that great dessert like Taj was talking about," Moore said. "It is about to be a battle again [in the WNBA finals], but this one is sweet."
MOORE ON SHOOTING
Moore seemed to thrive in Phoenix this year. She tied a WNBA record by making all six of her three-pointers in an earlier game this year and Sunday she was six for eight behind the arc.
She was asked if she got more confident with every made three on Sunday. "Shooting is -- there are tons of books on shooting," Moore said. "There are so many theories on shooting. I wish I could tell you there is a secret recipe to why shots go in and why they don't.
"I just know that when we play well, we play together and we move the ball, everything feels great. Whether it is shooting, whether it is scoring inside or whether it is making that extra pump fake. Everything we do, it feels better.
"It was going in [Sunday]. I am grateful it goes in. Obviously, shooting practice, reps, putting in the work, all goes into that."
"We have definitely had some bumps throughout the year," Diana Taurasi said after Phoenix's loss. "Every time we hit a rough patch, we came together as a team, and [that] got us to this point. [Sunday] we just did not have enough to get over the biggest hump, which is Minnesota because they are humpy."
Pause for laughter.
"If you look around our team, Candice [Dupree] had a great year. DeWanna [Bonner] really matured as a next level player this year for us. She did it again [Sunday]. So we had a lot of good things happen to us throughout the year. So maybe to just focus on these last two [losses to the Lynx] would be selling ourselves short a little bit.
"But at the end of the day if you don't win, there needs to be some improvements done by everyone on our team and throughout [the organization]."