On Wednesday, the Las Vegas Aces defeated the New York Liberty 70-69 in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals to secure their second-straight championship.
Even with starters Chelsea Gray and Kiah Stokes injured, the Aces were able to close out the series thanks to a terrific performance from superstar A'ja Wilson, who finished with 24 points, 16 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal on 52.4% shooting from the field. Wilson earned the WNBA Finals MVP award after averaging 21.3 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks on 50% shooting throughout the series.
Several other Aces stepped up including Cayla George (11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 threes) and Alysha Clark (10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists on 57.1% shooting). Kelsey Plum struggled with her shot (making just 2-of-12 attempts from the field and missing all four of her three-pointers), but she found other ways to impact the game and finished with 7 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal.
Courtney Vandersloot led the Liberty with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 threes and 1 steal, but it wasn't enough to lift New York to victory. The Aces deserve credit for shutting down Breanna Stewart, who had just 10 points while shooting 3-of-17 (17.6%) from the field and 0-of-3 from three-point range.
The Aces dominated all season, winning a WNBA-best 34 games during the regular season and losing just one game during their playoff run (to the Liberty in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals).
Las Vegas had the WNBA's top-ranked offense (scoring 113 points per 100 possessions) and top-ranked defense (allowing 97.7 points per 100 possessions) during the regular season. That continued during the postseason, as they led all teams in offensive rating (108.1 points per 100 possessions) and defensive rating (92.7 points per 100 possessions).
Las Vegas becomes the first WNBA team to win back-to-back championships in 21 years (when the Los Angeles Sparks accomplished the feat). The Aces, 2001-02 Sparks and 1997-2000 Houston Comets are the only teams in WNBA history to win consecutive titles.