The Las Vegas Aces defeated the New York Liberty 70-69 in Game 4 to capture their second straight WNBA title. Here’s what you need to know:
After trailing 39-30 at halftime, Las Vegas rallied to outscore New York 23-12 in the third quarter. Liberty responded in the fourth period, but Courtney Vandersloot missed a potential game-winner in the final seconds. Aces star forward Aja Wilson led all scorers with 24 points and 16 rebounds en route to 2023 WNBA Finals MVP honors, while guard Jackie Young added 16 points. Las Vegas is the first team to win back-to-back WNBA titles since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001-2002. Aces Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes were sidelined in Game 4 with foot injuries, but closed out the game 3-1.
Back-to-back titles 🏆🏆
The @LVAces win the 2023 WNBA Championship. pic.twitter.com/rCsw1yhNrE
— The Athletic (@The Athletic) October 19, 2023
The Aces packed the Liberty front court.
New York entered this series with the regular season MVP and had a dominant player in the first three games in Jonquil Jones. Neither player was effective in Game 4. Breanna Stewart shot 3-of-17 from the field and made a stunning 3-pointer that would have changed the game in the final minute to put the team down 68-64.
Meanwhile, Wilson effectively shuts down Jones – New York can’t get the ball, and Jones is beaten by the Defensive Player of the Year as he inbounds. – Sabreena Merchant, WNBA writer
A sad end to the New York season
It was Vandersloot who took the final shot of the 2023 WNBA Finals – an airball, which gave the Aces a 70-69 Game 4 win. Although the crowd at Barclays Center gave the band a standing ovation when it came out, there was no recognition. As the Liberty players retreated to the locker room. New York shot just 36.1 from the field, and Stewart and Jones combined for just 16 points on 6-of-25 shooting from the field. The third quarter of the sub-clause troubled them once again.
It was an impressive end to the season for the Liberty, and a surprise one — the Las Vegas team down two of its top six players. – Ben Pickman, WNBA writer
It dashed the Liberty’s WNBA championship dreams, despite building to take down the Aces.
A final defensive play from the Aces sealed the deal.
🎥 @WNBA | #WNBAFinals pic.twitter.com/j5QOVRrCOV
— The Athletic WBB (@TheAthleticWBB) October 19, 2023
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(Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images)