2021 WNBA Finals: What You Need to Know

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WNBA Finals Overview

The WNBA Finals are the championship series of the Women’s National Basketball Association. The series is the end of the league’s postseason each fall, and has been played every WNBA season in history since 1997. Though, the series was named the WNBA Championship until 2002.

WNBA Playoffs: It begins with the single-elimination playoffs. Each year, the eight teams with the highest winning percentages, regardless of conference, qualify for the playoffs and are seeded based on their record. There are four playoff rounds. And the top two seeds receive a bye to the semifinals (third round), and the third and fourth seeds receive a bye to the second round.

WNBA Playoffs: The semifinals feature a best-of-five format, with the number one overall seed playing the lowest remaining seed and the number two overall seed meeting the remaining team. 

WNBA Finals: The winner of the WNBA Finals is determined through a 2–2–1 format. The first, second, and fifth games of the series are played at the arena of the team who earned home court advantage by having the better record during the regular season.

WNBA Finals 2020

Here is what happened in last season’s match up.

Which WNBA teams were in the finals in 2020?

The 2020 WNBA finals took place in the Wubble in Bradenton Florida. The Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm made it to the Finals.

Who won the WNBA Championship in 2020?

The Seattle Storm won in a three game sweep. The Seattle Storm won their second WNBA championship in three seasons, sweeping the Las Vegas Aces 92-59. It’s the fourth title in franchise history for the Storm, who also won in 2004, 2010 and 2018. Seattle’s core group that won the 2018 championship led by Breanna, Sue Bird and Jewell Loyd remained intact for the 2020 season. As a result, the Storm joined Minnesota and Houston as the only franchises to win four championships.

Who was the WNBA Finals MVP in 2020?

Breanna Stewart was the Finals MVP averaging 28.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. She had an incredible game 1 where scored a whopping 37 points and grabbed 15 boards. 

WNBA finals TV channel 

The WNBA Finals were broadcasted nationally from the Walt Disney Company. The games alternated between different channels including: game one ESPN 2, game two ABC, and game three ESPN. 

What were the WNBA Finals TV ratings?

Despite most sports viewership suffering due to the pandemic, the WNBA was able to gain viewers. The Aces vs Storm three-game series averaged 440,000 viewers, up 15 percent from 2019’s WNBA Finals viewership of 381,000.

ESPN‘s coverage of the Seattle Storm’s 92-59 title-clinching victory over the Las Vegas Aces in game three drew an average 570,000 viewers, the US broadcaster has confirmed.

Explore WNBA Finals History

Discover the most interesting aspects of each finals matchup from 2020 through the very first 1997 including the biggest upsets, the longest series, and cool highlights. For example, did you know 2011 was the start of the Lynx dynasty?

2020 WNBA Finals

These Finals were unlike any other before. The series occurred in the Wubble in Florida due to a global pandemic. It also resulted in the Seattle Storm tying the Houston Comets and Minnesota Lynx in most WNBA championships at four

2019 WNBA Finals

The 2019 Finals was played by the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun. It resulted in the Mystics winning in five games, and winning their first WNBA championship. 


In 2018, the Seattle Storm swept the Washington Mystics 3-0. They won in dominant fashion winning by double digits in two of the three games. 


The 2017 WNBA Finals was a five game classic. It was a rematch of the 2016 Finals, resulting in the Minnesota Lynx defeating the Los Angeles Sparks and avenging their 2016 loss. 


The first Minnesota Lynx versus LA Sparks Finals matchup took place in 2016 and ended with the LA Sparks winning their third title. This was Candace Parker’s first championship and she won Finals MVP. 


The Minnesota Lynx won the 2015 championship against the Indiana Fever. The series went the distance ending in five games and Sylvia Fowles won the Finals MVP.


The Phoenix Mercury and the Chicago Sky participated in the WNBA Finals in 2014. It was the first appearance Chicago Sky had in the WNBA Finals and they lost to the Mercury in a three game sweep. 


The Minnesota Lynx won in a sweep against the Atlanta Dream winning their second WNBA championship in dominant fashion. Maya Moore was named the MVP.  


The Indiana Fever defeated the Minnesota Lynx dynasty in four games to win their first and only WNBA championship. It was only the second time an Eastern Conference team won a championship at the time. 


The Minnesota Lynx swept the Atlanta Dream to win their first championship and began the Lynx Dynasty. The Lynx dominated the Dream not just in the Finals, but in the regular season going 2-0 in regular season play and winning all five games they had against the Dream in 2011. 


The Seattle Storm swept the Atlanta Dream to win their second WNBA title. This was the first heartbreaking defeat for the Dream in the WNBA Finals. 


Diana Taurasi won her second championship and her first Finals MVP when the Phoenix Mercury defeated the Indiana fever 3-2. The matchup was between the top two teams during the regular season so it was nice that both top teams got to play each other in the Finals. 


The Detroit Shock swept the San Antonio Stars winning their third WNBA championship. They did so in dominant fashion beating the Stars by 16 in game three. 


Phoenix Mercury defeated the Detroit Shock in 2007 in five games. The game was the first time a road team won the championship on the opponent’s floor. 


The Detroit Shock defeated the Sacramento Monarchs in five games to win their second title. The MVP was Deanna Nolan thanks to her 24 point performance in game five. 


In 2005 the Sacramento Monarchs won their first and only WNBA title against the Connecticut Sun. The Monarchs won in four games.


Seattle Storm and Connecticut Sun both made their first Finals appearances. The Storm won the series winning two out of the three games. It was the last time the WNBA Finals was a best of three series. 


The Detroit/LA rivalry began in the WNBA with this 2003 WNBA Final. The Shock won in the deciding game three match winning their first WNBA title. 


The Los Angeles Sparks defeated the New York Liberty to win their second WNBA title. It was also the last time a team has won back to back titles.


LA Sparks secured their first WNBA title in 2001 against the Charlotte Sting. The Sparks won in dominant fashion sweeping the Sting. 


The Houston Comets dynasty secures their fourth and final title against the New York Liberty. The Comets are by far the most dominant WNBA team in the history of the W. At this point in WNBA history, no one else has won a championship except the Comets!


Houston Comets and the New York Liberty faced off in the Finals for the second time ever in 199. Their first matchup was in 97. The results were the same as the Houston Comets won their third title and officially became a dynasty. 


The Cheryl Miller-coached Phoenix Mercury reached the WNBA Finals and faced the Houston Comets in1998. The result was another Comets championship with Cynthia Cooper being named Finals MVP.


The very first WNBA championship was played by the Houston Comets and the New York Liberty. It resulted in the Houston Comets beating the Liberty 65-51. It was the beginning of the WNBA and the start of the Houston Comets dynasty.

Enjoy the WNBA Finals 2021

There it is, a complete history of every matchup! 25 years later, the league is more popular than ever and just getting started. Learn even more about WNBA history and the WNBA’s 25th season.