“Put the pressure back on Vegas,” said coach Curt Miller from the Connecticut Sun. Vegas started the first quarter on a 9-2 run and forced the Sun to take a time-out. During that time-out, the veterans spoke, and the Sun came out; oh yeah, they played that good ole Sun basketball. Playing Defense, dominating the paint, rebounding, moving the basketball, doing all the small things that led to a big lead. Connecticut went on a 32-10 run to end the quarter 34-19. They shot 14-17 (82.4%) in that quarter alone, best percentage in a quarter in WNBA finals history!
Energy, smiles, aggression, and hunger was adopted by each Sun player! They showed up to play. Soon as Dijonai Carrington checked in, the razzle, the dazzle, the spiciness was back. Natisha Hedierman (Tspoon) knocked down some sweet threes, but also attacked the basket. Jackie Young was finding her stroke from behind the arc while Kelsey Plum continued to do what Plum does and knocked down a three pointer at the buzzer bringing her team within 11 points to end the half 42-53. The Aces was shooting 50% from field with top scorers being Aja Wilson with 14pts and Jacking Young with 12pts. The Sun was shooting 60% from the field, 75% from three, and 83.3% from the FT line. The Sun out rebound Aces 18-13, 19-21 assists and 26-14 in points in the paint.
AP Photo/ Jessica Hill
The second quarter started with a beautiful jumper by Courtney Williams followed by a three pointer from Dewanna Bonner. DB was feeling herself on the defensive end as well, guarding Chelsea Gray and making her work hard for each basket holding her to only 11pts. The third quarter was a battle for both teams. With 4 minutes left in the third it was a 10-point game 69-59. The Sun did not stop! Jonquel Jones was working the paint and got the “and 1” and the crowd went crazy! You could see the fire in JJ’s eyes. The battle kept going, with a little over a minute left in the quarter. Riquana Williams hits a three and brings the Aces within 6 points. The Sun locked in on the defensive end and Bri Jones get a nice layup ending the third 77-69. History was made in that third quarter with the engine Alyssa Thomas getting her first Finals Triple Double, such a dog on the court!
The Sun kept their foot on the gas and continued to dominate the game. Once the score hit 94-76 Coach Hammon emptied her bench, and the Sun let their starters rest at the 3:25 minute mark in the fourth. Connecticut Sun’s offense was rolling, ending the game 105-76. Alyssa Thomas ended game with 16pts, 11ast, 15 Rebounds, JJ with 20pts, 5 rebounds, 4ast, and Dewanna Bonner with 18 pts and 6 rebounds. Top performers for the Aces were Jackie Young with 22 pts and Aja Wilson with 22pts. The sun won this battle in the paint with 64 points.
“They smashed us” said Coach Hammon.
In post-game Coach Miller “Toughness, Grit, Fight, we are not going away” as they get ready for another elimination game on Sunday 18th, 2022 at 4pm on ESPN.