Before Sunday, Las Vegas had never produced a professional sports champion. In Game 4, the Las Vegas Aces defeated the Connecticut Sun 78-71 to capture their first WNBA championship and the city’s first professional championship. Chelsea Gray led the way with 20 points.
The Chelsea Gray-led Las Vegas Aces won their first WNBA championship
After making 9 of 13 shots from the field and averaging 18.3 points throughout the series, Gray was awarded Finals MVP.
Vegas had an 8-0 run to the end. A’ja Wilson, the league MVP who played every minute of the game, seized the ball as the buzzer sounded and stamped the floor before being surrounded by her teammates.
We’re champs! We triumph! We’re champs. Before the award presentation, Wilson yelled at his teammates as they donned their championship T-shirts and hats.
For Vegas, Riquna Williams scored 17 points, Kelsey Plum scored 16, Jackie Young scored 13, and Wilson scored 11 points in addition to her 14 rebounds.
Wilson hopes that the franchise’s journey is only getting started.
You notice it. Wilson stated during the on-court celebration, “You see it. This is what we are constructing. What we’re doing is this. That’s it. Right now, I’m ecstatic.
Alyssa Thomas recorded her second straight triple-double with 11 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. Courtney Williams led Connecticut with 17 points. DeWanna Bonner scored 12 points, and Jonquel Jones added 13 more.
Sun coach Curt Miller stated that it hurts a lot when you fall short. However, that implies that there was something significant and unique about that team of players.
The ring satisfied a lifelong dream for Aces coach Becky Hammon, who in her illustrious WNBA career never won a championship. In order to take over in Las Vegas, she resigned from her assistant coaching post with Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. The decision paid off.
They’re terrific on the court, but first and foremost, they’re unbelievable humans, added Hammon. They are devoted to one another. They support one another. Being their coach has been an utter honor. I was inspired by excellence and yearned to participate in it.
Bill Laimbeer, a former Aces coach who was present for the occasion, was also honored by Hammon: “He put this squad together and saw the components.”
Sunday’s football squad wasn’t with its owner Mark Davis, who also owns the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders. He was there to pick up a trophy. He raised it, then handed it to the jubilant players who repeated the action.
Davis declared, “Las Vegas, we are world champions.”
The Aces had a two-point halftime advantage and a four-point third-quarter advantage. When Plum collided with Bonner in the fourth quarter while the Sun guard was shooting a 3-pointer and sent her to the floor holding, the referee called a flagrant foul.
Before Jones’ short jumper trimmed the advantage to one point, Bonner made all three of his free throw attempts. Following a Courtney Williams free throw that knotted the score at 67, two foul shots from Brionna Jones gave the Sun the lead at 71-70. But the solutions were in Las Vegas.
With less than a minute left, Riquna Williams’ 3-pointer gave the Aces the lead again, and Gray’s step-back jumper increased it to 75-71. After then, A’ja Wilson intercepted a pass, and Plum made a close-range shot to seal the victory.
It was a physical game, which was proper for an NFL Sunday. Late in the first quarter, Gray accidentally elbowed Bonner in the stomach, giving the Sun cause for concern. Bonner lay on the ground for a while before being assisted to the bench. Later in the half, she returned to the game and appeared to be in good health. In the second quarter, Natisha Hiedeman and Plum engaged in a brief pushing contest that resulted in technical fouls for both players. All of it occurred before Plum’s infraction in the fourth.
Gray has expressed her disappointment in not being selected for either the first-team all-league or the WNBA All-Star teams this season. She had scored 21 points in each of the first two games of the Finals, but just 11 points in Game 3 before regaining her composure. really old.
Gray stated, “They can keep that first team and All-Star.” I obtained the ring.
Both coaches discussed the composition of the Final organizations prior to the game. Hammon, the general manager of the Aces, and the head of business operations, Nikki Fargas, are both Black women executives. The Mohegan Tribe owns the Sun, Jen Rizzotti is the team’s president, and Curt Miller is their head coach.
Women’s basketball is one such example of a diverse and inclusive sport. Miller added, “I mean, our league defines it and I’m so pleased to be a part of it. I hope to be an inspiration to any LGBT child “wondering whether they can pursue a career in sports.”
Hammon asserted that she thinks the diversity of her team’s front office has strengthened it. With a box full of crayons, rather than just a pencil, you can create a far nicer picture, she explained.
PARADE AND PRIDE IN VEGAS
When the celebration began, it was broadcast on the stadium’s TV boards during the Raiders’ Sunday NFL game versus Arizona, and the crowd erupted in raucous applause.
In a few days, they can celebrate even more since a parade is scheduled for Tuesday night on the Las Vegas Strip.
What a group, what talent, and what a triumph! Las Vegas is extremely proud of you! In a statement, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said. “I appreciate your effort, focus, and discipline. We are so excited for the festivities and a fantastic parade!
Wilson advised partygoers to arrive at the parade four shots in, saying that they should be prepared for a good time. Don’t come if you haven’t fired four rounds yet.
With two days of recuperation, the Aces increased their playoff record to 4-0. Vegas is the fourth WNBA team to have a coach and league MVP and still win the championship. The Sun, which had made it back to the Finals for the first time since 2019 and had been among the final four WNBA teams in each of the previous four seasons, fell short. Nobody anticipated our presence, according to Bonner. They predicted that we would lose to Chicago. They anticipated Dallas would beat us. We made it to the Finals in spite of all of that.
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