Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson (22) posts up for a shot over Connecticut Sun center Brionna Jones during the first half in Game 1 of a WNBA basketball final playoff series Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP News photo)
Aces Win Game One In Championship Series Over Relentless Suns 67-64
By Barbara Mason
Sunday afternoon the Las Vegas Aces defeated the Connecticut Sun 67-64 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas to take a 1-0 series lead in their quest for their first championship. They will played the upset-minded Sun who mounted a 4th quarter rally beating the defending champion Chicago Sky 72-63 in game five of their series last Thursday.
The Aces have inarguably the best starting lineup in the WNBA and in her first year as head coach the team boasts the incomparable leadership of Becky Hammond.
The Sun took on the likes of A’ja Wilson (WNBA MVP for a second year), Kelsey Plum (all-time leading scorer in division I history) and finally Jackie Young ( the league’s most improved player). They have an invaluable host of players that will support them throughout this series.
Game 1 Sunday recap: Las Vegas got off to a quick start and at one time the Aces held a 12 point lead but the Sun kept plugging away and at the half had taken a 38-34 lead in an unexpected turnaround. The Sun won the second quarter 21-9 in a punishing effort.
The Sun continued to battle and held the lead through most of the third quarter. In the final three minutes of the quarter the Aces began to turn it around and led after three 55-53.
The Sun came into this game with upset on their mind and they were sure playing like it trailing in the fourth quarter but within striking distance. With under three minutes left in the game Las Vegas created a little distance leading 58-66. With 34 seconds left on the clock, the Aces held a slim 67-64 lead. That advantage would hold and Las Vegas had won the first game of the series.
Much of the success in this game went to the Aces defense fighting throughout the game against a tenacious Sun squad. Alyssa Thomas finished with 19 points for the Sun and Jonquel Jones had 15 but Connecticut came up just short in a hard fought battle that went right down to the wire.
A’ja Wilson finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds another double double for her. Chelsea Gray had 21 points and Jackie Young had 11. It was a slow night for Kelsey Plum who only had six points but look for her to pick things up throughout the series.
Game Two will be in Las Vegas on Tuesday with tipoff at 6:00 PM on ESPN.