Las Vegas beats Connecticut to get within one win of WNBA Championship, leads series 2-0
Even though the Las Vegas Aces won the first game of the best-of-five WNBA Finals series on Sunday at home with a 67-64 victory over the Connecticut Sun, the team and its coach were not happy with their performance. It was the first-ever Finals win for the Aces, and the team followed up with a more polished performance to take game two 85-71 Tuesday night.
In game one on Sunday, Connecticut put together runs in the second and third quarters to lead by as much as eight points in the second half. It took a gritty defensive effort led by Las Vegas forward A’ja Wilson to mount a comeback for the win.
“First half, I thought we talked about a lot of stuff and did zero of it, and then third and fourth, they did, and they did it very well,” Aces head coach Becky Hammon said about game one and credited the Sun’s defense for keeping her team on its heels.
Tuesday night, Wilson scored 26 points and pulled down ten rebounds in an effort where the Sun only led for 17 seconds in the game’s first minute. Aces guards Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum had big numbers as well. Gray finished with 21 points plus eight assists, and Plum contributed 20 points and seven assists.
The Aces fed off a solid first quarter, outscoring the Sun 23-15.
“If we can keep our mindset and composure in the first quarter and set the tone, it’s helpful for us later on down the road,” said Wilson.
At the half, Las Vegas had a 45-37 lead and then outscored Connecticut 23-17 in the third quarter. The teams put up 17 points each in the fourth quarter.
“I’m very happy where we are, but we are not done yet,” said Wilson about her team’s overall position in the Finals. “We still have to continue to push through and still have things that we have to take care of. It’s very important for us to come out the way we do.”
For the Sun, Courtney Williams has 18 points and five assists. Three of her teammates were also in double figures: Jonquel Jones (16 points, 11 rebounds), Alyssa Thomas (13 points, four assists), and Brionna Jones (12 points, seven rebounds).
The series moves to Connecticut for game three on Thursday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Tip off is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN.
The Aces have a chance to take the series in a 3-0 sweep.
It’s going to take every bit of everybody,” said Gray, who added 21 points. “You can see the stats. It’s the toughness. It’s the little things that will get it done. We have been a good road team this year. So, we might as well go win on the road.”