The Las Vegas Aces put immense pressure on the New York Liberty in an attempt to break their winning streak. It was widely known that the Liberty had not lost back-to-back games throughout the season.
However, Wednesday proved to be a different story, with high stakes on the line.
The Aces dominated from the start, achieving an impressive 104-76 victory over the Liberty in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals. This win gives the Aces a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, making them one step closer to securing their second consecutive championship. The last time a team achieved back-to-back titles in the WNBA was in 2001-02.
While these teams have had many one-sided games this season, the Aces truly showcased their skills on Wednesday. They set a finals record by scoring an outstanding 38 points in the first quarter alone. Their shooting percentage was remarkable, with 70% field-goal shooting and 60% from beyond the 3-point arc. A’ja Wilson played a crucial role, contributing 12 points in the first quarter and finishing the game with an impressive double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds.
The Aces’ starting lineup dominated the game, contributing a whopping 95 points. Even Kiah Stokes, who didn’t score in Game 1, made an impact by making two 3-pointers.
Although the Liberty made a late surge in the first half, scoring 12 consecutive points, Alysha Clark ended the Aces’ scoring drought just before the halftime break. The Aces held a 52-44 lead at halftime and extended it to a 23-point lead in the third quarter.
Aces head coach Becky Hammon praised her team’s performance, acknowledging their resilience in the face of distractions, adversity, and injuries throughout the season.
The Aces maintained a significant lead throughout the second half, even widening the gap to 32 points. They outperformed the Liberty in shooting percentage, with 52.9% compared to the Liberty’s 36.1%. Additionally, the Aces outrebounded New York with a final tally of 40-35. It was evident that rebounding played a crucial role, as emphasized by Hammon at halftime.
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Jackie Young built upon her standout performance in Game 1, contributing 24 points in Game 2. Kelsey Plum also played a significant role, scoring 23 points, including five 3-pointers.
The Aces showcased their teamwork by dishing out 31 assists on their 37 made field goals.
For the Liberty, Jonquel Jones stood out with a double-double in the first half, making a significant impact during the team’s second-quarter surge. She finished the game with 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Meanwhile, the Liberty’s guards continued to struggle. Courtney Vandersloot only scored nine points, while Sabrina Ionescu added 10 points. Breanna Stewart, the 2023 MVP, couldn’t take control of the game, despite contributing 14 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists.
Rachel Adams is your WNBA insider, delivering comprehensive coverage of women’s basketball. With a commitment to highlighting the talent and achievements of WNBA players, she provides game analysis, player profiles, and inspiring stories from the league.