Aces take the first of two games in Connecticut against the Sun

The Las Vegas Aces defeated the Connecticut Sun, 90-84 ,in a WNBA Finals rematch to improve to 7-0.

The Aces hold off a late Connecticut charge to win 90-84 in the first of two games in Connecticut to improve to 7-0.

The Aces were led by A’ja Wilson, the reigning MVP, who scored 23 points on 9-13 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Jackie Young scored 22, Kelsey Plum had 17, and Chelsea Gray had 14. 

Rebecca Allen led the Sun with 22 points on 8-11 shooting, while Brionna Jones had 15 and Alyssa Thomas had 14.

In the first quarter, the Aces dominated the Sun, shooting 50% from the field and outscoring them 14-4 in the paint. They were stout on defense, limiting Connecticut to 31% shooting from the field and forcing 6 turnovers. The Aces offense was clicking, as they concluded the quarter with 10 assists on 10 made field goals and a 25-14 lead. 

“My challenge is to always play defense,” Hammon said. “I thought we did that especially in the first quarter with a team that we know needs the paint. I thought we locked up the paint very well in that first quarter.”

Defense continued to be dominant in the second quarter holding the Sun to 1-7 shooting and 3 points through the first five minutes of the quarter. The Aces would lead by double digits the whole quarter with the largest lead being 19 points. At the half, three Aces were in double figures, with Jackie Young leading the way with 11 points, followed by Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray, both with ten.   

“I am happy with how we started the game,” Hammon said. “We have been struggling a little bit coming out of the gates and we are still in the process of building great habits but I thought this was a good test for us.”

The Aces maintained their strong shooting offensively, shooting 66% from the field in the quarter while holding the Sun to 34%.The sun would hang around in the quarter by becoming more aggressive on defense, forcing six Aces turnovers that resulted in 12 Sun points. Turnovers by the Aces allowed the Sun to go on several runs in the third quarter, but they couldn’t cut the deficit to single digits. A’ja Wilson had a great third quarter for the Aces, scoring 8 points on 3-3 shooting and contributing on defense with two blocked shots. The Aces would lead the Sun 70-53 at the end of the third quarter 

Rebecca Allen would hit four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 20-6 run and would trim the Aces lead to 3 points at 76-73 with four minutes remaining. Kelsey Plum, who had struggled from three in the two previous games, would hit a key three with 3:10 left to put the Aces up 8. Connecticut trimmed the Aces lead to four points before Jackie Young put the game away with a big and one with 1:15 left, putting the Aces up seven and they would hold on to win. 

The Aces will stay in Connecticut and take on the Sun again on Thursday with tip off set for 4 p.m.