WNBA: Las Vegas Aces retain tile with Game Four win over New York Liberty


A’ja Wilson scored 24 points and made 16 rebounds as the Las Vegas Aces retained the WNBA title with a 70-69 victory over New York Liberty to take the best-of-five finals series 3-1; the Aces are the first team to repeat as champions since the Los Angles Sparks in 2002

WNBA: Las Vegas Aces retain tile with Game Four win over New York Liberty

A’ja Wilson put up 24 points and 16 rebounds and led a second-half comeback as the Las Vegas Aces defeated the hosts New York Liberty 70-69 on Wednesday night to win their second consecutive WNBA title.

The Aces took Game Four to win the best-of-five series 3-1, becoming the first team to win back-to-back WNBA championships since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002.

Though the Liberty led by as many as 12, Las Vegas charged back in front by the end of the third quarter. The Aces scored six straight points for a 70-64 lead and survived the Liberty’s final push, with Courtney Vandersloot missing a game-winning jumper at the buzzer.

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The Aces prevailed without two starters, Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes, who suffered foot injuries in Game Three.

Alysha Clark, the WNBA Sixth Player of the Year, entered the starting line-up and had 10 points and eight rebounds. Jackie Young posted 16 points and seven assists and Cayla George, in for Stokes, made three triples while contributing 11 points.

“We’ve been facing adversity all season, playing without different players…We have some professional fighters,” Clark said.

“To weather the storm of everything we went through, to show up every single day. To be in this moment right now and do it together, it speaks volumes about us, our chemistry.”

WNBA: Las Vegas Aces retain tile with Game Four win over New York Liberty

After New York’s Jonquel Jones tied the game 64-64 off an offensive rebound with 2:44 to play, the Aces pushed ahead. Wilson pivoted off her defender and sank a mid-range shot to make it 70-64 with 1:27 left.

Vandersloot hit her fourth three-pointer of the night and Sabrina Ionescu made a jumper from the foul line to cut the deficit to one, but their play with eight seconds left ended with an air ball.

Vandersloot powered the Liberty with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Breanna Stewart had 10 points, 14 rebounds and five assists but shot 3-for-17. Betnijah Laney scored 15 points and Ionescu added 13.

The Liberty capitalised on eight Aces turnovers in the first quarter to take a 23-13 lead. The Aces drew within 31-30 with 2:33 left in the first half thanks to Kelsey Plum’s layup.

WNBA: Las Vegas Aces retain tile with Game Four win over New York Liberty

Laney caught a pass under the bucket and kicked it to Kayla Thornton in the corner for a 3-pointer. That started an 8-0 run to close the half, and New York took a 39-30 lead into the half-time break. Vandersloot had 12 first-half points and Laney chipped in with 11.

George made a pair of three-pointers just over one minute apart in the third quarter to get her team going.

Clark scored the final six points of a 9-0 Aces run to close the quarter. Her layup tied it 51-51, and with 19 seconds left she earned and made two free throws that gave Las Vegas its first lead since 9-8.

Young’s five points helped make it 60-53 Las Vegas early in the fourth before the Liberty rattled off seven points to tie it and set up the tight finish.


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