Connecticut Sun came off an impressive close-out win against the Sky, signing their ball to the finals. The Aces patiently waited for their opponent to arrive. We had a physical, head-to-head matchup between the Las Vegas Aces and the Connecticut Sun.
You saw the intensity, the urge, and the fight in each player on that court. Vegas won the tip-off and they came out swinging. The MVP Aja Wilson and Point God Chelsea Gray were hitting their shots and putting up their first 11. Aja Wilson was in attack mode early. Wilson scored 12 points and the Aces were shooting 56% from the field. The Aces kept the former MVP, Jonquel Jones, to 0 Points, ending the first quarter 17-25.
Alyssa Thomas said to Holly Rowe “we're taking rush shots, not getting back on defense”. Aja Wilson and Chelsea Gray were on the bench to start the second quarter. The Sun took full advantage on the defensive end and continuously rebounded the ball. The Connecticut Sun force the Aces to miss 10 of their last 12 shots and took the lead to end the half 38-34. The defensive switch took place when Alyssa Thomas started to defend Aja Wilson. That was key to keeping Wilson to a scoreless in the second. The Sun shot 40.5% from the field and the Aces shot 38.7%. Alyssa Thomas had 10pts, Jonquel Jones (JJ) 8pts, Natisha Hiedeman (Tspoon) 5 points, and Bri Jones added 10 Points off the bench. On the Aces side of the court, Chelsey Gray finished with 11pts, and Jacking Young added 9 pts.
The Sun started the third quarter strong and continued on the defensive end to move the ball and continued to have the shots fall. Everything seemed to be clicking for the Sun, especially on the boards. Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones were in sync and emotions were high. The ladies were playing that good old Connecticut Sun basketball. Chelsea Gray could not be stopped, Riquina Williams hit a sweet three to tie the game 53-53. In the last 2 and half minutes in the third quarter, the Aces turned up the heat on the defensive end and started crashing the class. At the 1:48 second-mark left in the third Aja gets an offensive rebound and scores and finally takes the lead since the 32-30 mark in the game, ending the Third 53-55.
The grit from both teams in the fourth was special. The Aces had the lead 55-59 however, at the 5:21 minute mark in the fourth, Tspoon hit a timely 23 foot three, bringing the Sun within one point from tying the game up. Being cold all game, Kesley Plum finally knocks down a three, increasing the Aces' lead by four, making it 58-62. The Aces then began to dominate by pushing the lead to 8. However, Alyssa said this game is not over yet. Alyssa bullied her way to the basket, dropped back on the defensive, and played the full court. She knocked the ball away and got an easy layup, bringing the Sun within five points, making the score 62-67. Alyssa came to play, with 32.2 seconds left in the game, Alyssa Thomas got another steal and scored. That put the Sun within three points from tying the game.
The Aces pull the win 67-64. Alyssa Thomas led the Sun leader board by finishing the game with 19 points five assists, 11 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. Jonquel Jones finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and two assists. The Aces' leaders were Aja Wilson and Chelsea Gray. Wilson led with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Gray led with 21 points and three assists. The Connecticut Sun will have to punch back and stop Aja Wilson if they want a victory in game 2!