The Athletic has live coverage. WNBA Finals It shows game 2 New York Liberty vs. Las Vegas Aces
The New York Liberty will take on the Las Vegas Aces in the 2023 WNBA Finals after New York swept its semifinal series against the Connecticut Sun in four games Sunday.
Reigning league MVP Breanna Stewart led Liberty with 27 points in an 87-84 win, while Jonkel Jones had a double-double with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Bettina Laney added 21 points and seven rebounds for New York. Connecticut had five players score in double figures, led by Alyssa Thomas’ 17-point, 15-rebound, 11-assist triple-double. Liberty hasn’t played in the Finals since 2002, when they lost to the Los Angeles Sparks. Aces are winners of winners.
A quick analysis of the athletics:
How was the sun of freedom?
It was by no means easy, as Connecticut overcame an 8-point fourth-quarter deficit to tie the score at 69 with just over five minutes to play. But in Game 4, New York relied on its star bigs to produce.
Stewart scored nine of her team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter, while Jones scored 11 of her 25 points in the game’s final ten minutes. The 6-foot-6 center, who won the 2021 MVP with the Suns, also had a key steal with 45.1 seconds to play and was a force on the offensive glass, totaling six offensive rebounds.
“A lot of it is JJ working hard to get a spot,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. – Pickman
Lani still plays a key role
Brondello has seen Laney continue to produce the way she has this postseason. A versatile All-WNBA defender, Laney has scored 19 or more points in five of New York’s six playoff games. And her aggression against abuse is central to her ability to make room for freedom.
The wing played in nine games last season due to injury, and Brondello reflected on Laney’s journey to New York’s first playoff appearance since 2002. She keeps getting better.”
She will play a key role when the series begins next Sunday. – Pickman
What’s next for Connecticut?
The Suns showed the same resilience they have had for much of the season on Sunday. Thomas and guard Tiffany Hayes both went to the locker room for short periods, and they withstood nearly every run New York made. Connecticut trailed by just one point with 54.1 seconds to play. Led by Thomas, the Suns should once again be a force in the WNBA.
All-Star center Briona Jones has missed all but 13 games this season with an Achilles tear, and even though she’s a free agent, if she returns, Connecticut will once again have one of the W’s top frontcourts. And a core featuring forward Dewanna Bonner who has proven to be tough to beat in the regular season and playoffs. – Pickman
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(Photo: David Butler II / USA Today)