Sunday, September 25, 2022

Gray and Wilson lead Aces past Sun to WNBA title

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The Aces clinched their first title in franchise history and Becky Hammon became the first rookie coach to win a WNBA championship with Sunday’s 78-71 triumph at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

19 Sep (News) — Chelsea Gray posted a game high with 20 points and A’ja Wilson recorded a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Las Vegas Aces past the Connecticut Sun to win the title in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals.

Gray received WNBA Finals MVP honors.

“Winning a championship is something nobody can ever take from you,” Wilson told reporters. “Once you can do that, you’re in [record] books forever.

“I will never forget this year. It won’t be that [last].”

Riquna Williams scored 17 points from the aces bench. Fellow guards Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young scored 15 and 13 points, respectively. The Aces made 45.3% of their shots, including 10 3-pointers.

“It was a fight,” Hammon said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Finishing a regular-season game, let alone a championship, on someone else’s home court is never easy.

“They stayed focused. That’s been the goal since the training camp. Luckily I have a group of really resilient players.”

The Sun started the game with good shots on their first two possessions for a 4-0 lead. The Aces then roared back to take a 16-12 lead into the second quarter.

The Sun beat the Aces by two points in the next 10 minutes but were still 30-28 down at the break. The Aces outplayed the Sun 48-43 in the final 20 minutes.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team and our fight,” said Sun coach Curt Miller. “It was agony out there, both teams played so hard defensively and so well at parts. I’m just incredibly proud of our performance. It turned into a game of chess in the end. They finished with an 8-0 run at the end of the game , but it was a great game.

“It’s great for our league.”

Sun forward Alyssa Thomas recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the loss. Sun guard Courtney Williams posted a team high with 17 points. Forwards Jonquel Jones and Dewanna Bonner contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, in the loss.

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