Home WNBA The Aces will return to the WNBA Finals after sweeping the Wings

The Aces will return to the WNBA Finals after sweeping the Wings

The Aces will return to the WNBA Finals after sweeping the Wings

The Athletic has live coverage of the WNBA Finals featuring the Las Vegas Aces against the New York Liberty.

The Las Vegas Aces swept the Dallas Wings 64-61 in Game 3 of their semifinal series Friday at College Park Center. Here’s what you need to know:

Defensive Player of the Year Aja Wilson had a career-high nine turnovers and the defending champion Aces posted 19 overall. Wings guard Arik Ogunbowale led all scorers with 18 points on 8-24 shooting from the field, while Chelsea Gray led the way with 15 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Dallas shot 31.6 percent while Las Vegas shot 40.7 percent from the field. The Wings did not score in the final four minutes and 59 seconds. On the other side of the bracket, the New York Liberty took a 2-1 win against the Connecticut Sun early Friday after scoring 37 points in the first quarter.

A quick analysis of the athletics:

How Aces closed the wing

Las Vegas made its first five field goal attempts Friday night, but the Wings defense frustrated the Aces for the remainder of the first half. The league’s top seed made just eight of its next 27 field goal attempts, trailing by five and entering the locker room with 20 minutes to play. The Aces’ 31 first-half points were the third-fewest of the season, and their 64 points were the second-fewest of the season.

But despite the offensive struggles, Las Vegas’ defense was stout – holding Dallas to no score in the final 4:59 of the fourth quarter. In that span, the Aces closed the game on an 11-0 run, fueled by plenty of offense from Wilson, who finished with 13 points, and Gray. – Pickman

Where does Dallas go from here?

The Wings’ frontcourt depth was even on display in the Game 3 loss. Although Satu Sabili finished 2-of-15 from the field, reserve Awake Kuer played key minutes and helped put pressure on Sebali, Natasha Howard and Tierra McCowan.

Among Dallas’ biggest questions heading into the offseason will be strengthening its point guard rotation. Backup guard Veronica Burton played 26 minutes in Friday’s loss, her second-most since the All-Star break. Veteran guard Odyssey Sims started for the second straight game but only played 12 minutes. Dallas regular season starter Krystal Dangerfield saw the court for just under two minutes in the series shutout.

Guard Lou Lopez Senechal, the No. 5 pick in April’s draft, will make her WNBA debut next season and give the Wings another player, but it’s worth watching closely to see how the franchise handles its backcourt. Ogunbowale led the Wings with 18 points in Game 3, but Dallas missed a second-round pick and shot 21.4 percent from 3. – Pickman

Next for the Aces

Lots of rest. Las Vegas will watch Sunday’s Game 4 between the Suns and Liberty to see if New York can close out the semifinal series or if Connecticut can force a Game 5. If the aforementioned match ends on Sunday or Tuesday, the WNBA Finals will not begin. Until October 8.

The Aces will also play host to the first two games of the series, meaning they won’t play another road game until Oct. 15. – Pickman

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(Photo: Jerome Miron / USA Today)