Last week, with the Las Vegas Aces leading the WNBA Finals 2-0, Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonio Spurs and a five-time NBA champion, went into the Aces’ locker room and imparted some knowledge. He remarked that the sweetest victories are those achieved away from home.
It turns out that winning on the road and having your team win its first title makes the victory much sweeter. The Aces won Game 4 78-71 over the Connecticut Sun to earn the franchise’s first championship. A’ja Wilson, the current league MVP, and Becky Hammon, the Aces’ rookie head coach, both possessed plenty of star power. Hammon was also selected Coach of the Year.
The Aces won Las Vegas’ first professional sports championship with a well-rounded effort. With 20 points, Chelsea Gray led the squad and was voted WNBA Finals MVP. She averaged 18.3 points and 6.0 assists over the series. A’ja Wilson, the current WNBA MVP, battled with her shot and managed just 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting. She did, however, play the full 40 minutes and tacked on 14 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks.
A Strong Comeback by the Aces
After a dismal defeat in Game 3, the Aces came out firing in the first game and soon built a 10-point advantage. However, the Sun refused to set quietly on their home floor and reduced the deficit before the session was through.
In the third quarter, Connecticut briefly held the lead, but it was fleeting. Despite her best efforts, Courtney Williams, who finished with a game-high 17 points for the Sun, struggled to keep up with Vegas’ well-rounded offense.
In the fourth quarter, the Aces started to distance themselves before the Sun came roaring back and seized the lead on a jumper by Courtney Williams. However, Las Vegas’ Riquna Williams scored the next eight points to end the game.
For the Sun, Jonquel Jones added 13 points and 8 rebounds. Alyssa Thomas recorded a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists, while DeWanna Bonner contributed 12 points and 8 rebounds.
The Aces’ successful season comes to a close with their victory on Sunday. With a 26-10 regular-season record and a Commissioner’s Cup victory, the squad earned the top overall seed in the playoffs. Becky Hammon, a WNBA legend, now owns her first championship ring and is the only head coach in league history to do it in her debut campaign.
The Las Vegas Aces’ 2022 season came to a perfect finale in the end.
MVP: Chelsea Gray
Gray scored a game-high 20 points, earning MVP honors for the Finals. Afterward, at Centre Court, she sobbed as she recalled being passed over for the all-star team. Jackie Young contributed 13 points, and Plum scored 15. The Aces, under the direction of first-year coach Becky Hammon, made postseason history by having multiple players (Wilson and Gray) score more than 200 points.