Aces take Game 1 of the WNBA Finals
The two teams that were aligned to make the WNBA Finals have made it and there was an eccentric buzz around the world that hasn't really been captivated in the sport. You had the defending champions in the Vegas Aces taking on a Liberty team, who were dying to take some hardware back to the big Apple. New York found a way to defeat the Aces in the regular season, but adjustments were made and now they would face a more veteran team. All of the talk was just that and it was time for Vegas to go out there and play their game.
The pace for the start of the first half was very quick. It looked like both teams shot their offense out of a cannon. Aja Wilson, Chelsea Gray, and Kelsey Plum got on the board early on and got their team out to a quick six-point lead. However, the chess match between coach Becky Hammon and coach Sandy Brondello started to play out. Brondello decided to insert Marine Johannes, who was on fire, hitting three-point shots, while Hammon, decided to play Alysha Clark, much earlier than what she anticipated.
As mentioned above, Johannes had an immediate impact, while Clark was trying to figure out her rhythm. With Johannes in the mix, New York went on a 16-10 run, but the Aces fought back and closed the gap at the half to three. Vegas took the momentum away from New York at the start of the second half. They went on a 12-4 run and forced Liberty to take a timeout. That run started with Wilson and Gray pushing the pace of the game and making the game a bit gritty; diving after loose balls and getting second opportunities on the boards. Wilson and Jackie Young went to work in the fourth and helped their team to a 99-82 victory. Wilson finished with 19, Gray finished with 20 points.