Las Vegas Aces Secure Back-to-Back WNBA Championships
The Las Vegas Aces win back-to-back WNBA championships, joining an elite group of teams in league history. A'ja Wilson's outstanding performance leads the way.
The Las Vegas Aces made history by winning back-to-back WNBA championships, becoming the first team in 21 years to achieve this feat. In an exhilarating Game 4 of the Finals against the New York Liberty, the Aces emerged victorious with a narrow 70-69 win, thanks to an outstanding performance by A’ja Wilson and a crucial defensive stop in the closing seconds.
Joining the ranks of the Los Angeles Sparks (2001-’02) and the Houston Comets (1997-2000), the Aces now belong to an elite group of teams in league history to secure consecutive titles. Their remarkable achievement becomes even more impressive considering they did it without the presence of Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes, who were sidelined due to foot injuries sustained in Game 3. Despite their absence on the court, Gray, the 2022 WNBA Finals MVP, provided constant support and motivation to her teammates during timeouts and from the sideline.
A’ja Wilson, who received this year's MVP honors, showcased her immense talent, contributing 24 points and 16 rebounds in the title-clinching game. The Aces found themselves tied at 64 when Jackie Young stepped up and scored four crucial points, giving her team a 68-64 advantage with just over two minutes remaining.
In a tense moment, Breanna Stewart had an opportunity to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but her shot missed the mark. A'ja Wilson then displayed her skill and composure, hitting a tough turnaround shot to extend the Aces' lead to 70-64 with 1:26 left on the clock.
The New York Liberty fought hard to stay in the game, with Courtney Vandersloot sinking a crucial 3-pointer followed by a steal from Kelsey Plum. Sabrina Ionescu capitalized on the turnover by sinking a foul-line jumper, bringing the Liberty within one point with 41.7 seconds remaining.
As the tension mounted, the Aces meticulously worked the shot clock down before Coach Becky Hammon called a timeout with just 3 seconds left. With their last possession, the Aces executed a lob pass to A'ja Wilson, but Breanna Stewart came up with an impressive block, giving the New York Liberty a final chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Following a timeout with 8.8 seconds left, the Liberty turned to Stewart, who found herself double-teamed. The ball swiftly swung over to Courtney Vandersloot in the corner, but her shot missed significantly, igniting jubilant celebrations from the Aces at midcourt.
Contributing 19 points, Courtney Vandersloot was a standout for the New York Liberty, while Betnijah Laney added 15 points to their effort.
The Las Vegas Aces' triumph will forever be etched in the annals of WNBA history as they solidify their position among the league's great champions.