The Las Vegas Aces may have been down two starters thanks to heartbreaking injuries, but they were still victorious in their quest to win the WNBA Finals.
Having also won in 2022, the Aces are now the first WNBA team to win back-to-back titles since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2002.
It wasn’t an easy win for the Vegas squad, with redemption becoming a common theme starting with Chelsea Gray and center Kiah Stokes ruled out. Gray suffered a sidelining foot injury in the fourth quarter of Game 3’s 87-73 loss, while Stokes’ injury was a bit more confusing, and she admittedly called it a “kind of a WTF moment” after waking up with pain in her right foot Monday.
Still, they prevailed even after falling behind pretty early, letting the Liberty coast to a double-digit lead and had everyone assuming a Game 5 in Vegas would be forced. That was until the third quarter, when the Aces scored 23-12 and capped off the period with a 9-0 run to mount a comeback.
When the fourth quarter began, the Aces kept their foot on the pedal with a 7-2 start that secured a three-point lead.
A’ja Wilson led the Aces with 24 points and an impressive 16 rebounds, aided by Jackie Young’s 16-point performance.
The Liberty couldn’t keep up as the game wore on despite having a stacked squad of Breanna Stewart, who had just 10 points, and a sickly Sabrina Ionescu, with 13 points. Courtney Vandersloot led New York’s scoring with 19 points, keeping fans on their toes with a missed buzzer-beater.
After the game, Wilson spoke on the victorious night and what the wins mean to a team down two stars.
“This is a moment that we need to celebrate,” said Wilson, who was named the WNBA Finals MVP. “Not a lot of people get a chance to do it, and for us to do it short-handed is truly amazing. It just makes this win that much better. I’m going to get choked up … this sh-t wasn’t easy.”
See how social media’s reacting to the win below.
Las Vegas Aces Win Back-To-Back WNBA Championships, X Salutes The Victory was originally published on cassiuslife.com