Aces beat Sun for the 2022 WNBA title as Las Vegas won their first championship in franchise history

For the first time ever, the Las Vegas Aces have won the WNBA Champions. On Sunday afternoon, the Aces held onto a dramatic 78-71 victory over the Connecticut Sun in Game 4 of the 2022 Finals to take the series 3-1. In addition to this being the franchise’s first title, it is also the first major professional title for a team in Las Vegas.

The first half was a hard forgotten affair as each team had a negative streak that lasted more than five minutes. Fortunately, both teams settled down and found a rhythm in the second half to create a more enjoyable experience. The down-to-the-wire game helped in this section, too.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Aces opened up a six-point lead and looked like they were about to pull back. Instead, the Sun turned five-point possession after Kelsey Bloom’s reckless shutdown of DeWanna Bonner’s 3-point bid which was upgraded to a flagrant foul. This swing allowed the Sun to jump straight into the game, and they briefly snatched the lead with 2:22 remaining on Courtney Williams’ sweatshirt.

From that point on, it was all the Aces and all the Rekona Williams. Williams was included in the game when the Aces went to the junior ball lineup, scoring eight consecutive ace points on a pair of 3-pointers and backjumping. Kelsey Bloom added a bucket, Jackie Young added a free throw and that was it.

Chelsea Gray led the way for the Aces with another impressive post-season performance, finishing 20 points, five rebounds and six assists on 9 of 13 off the field. For her efforts, not only in Game 4 but throughout the series, Gray was named MVP in the 2022 finals.

Williams earned a whopping 17 points off the bench, while regular season player Aja Wilson added 11 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Although not one of her best offensive matches, Williams did all the little things to help her team win and played every 40 minutes.

Here are some of the main points from the game 4:

Hamon makes history

After another disappointing early exit last season, Aces decided to make a change on the sidelines and parted ways with coach Bill Laimbere. They then offered former franchise legend Becky Hammon a long-term contract worth $1 million a year to persuade her to leave the San Antonio Spurs and return to the WNBA. There has been much discussion about this deal, the richest for a coach in league history, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions the organization has ever made.

Hamon implemented a modern attack system that raised the level of the entire team. They are ranked #1 overall with a franchise record of 26 wins and boast the second-best attacking rating in league history (ATR 109.6). Now, they are WNBA champions for the first time ever.

In the process, Hammon made some history of her own by becoming the first former player to win a championship as a head coach and the first WNBA coach to win a title in her first season. That she’s done it with the franchise she’s played with for nearly a decade makes it even sweeter.

“I don’t know, it’s really hard to put into words right now,” Hamon said. “Small surreal. You know, when I took the job in December, I thought when I started sort of breaking down the rosters that I could do something with it. I had a vision of what I wanted to do with this team.

“You know, even when it’s a little rocky, we just stuck with it. We’ve had the kind of moments where we’re either staying in the dirt or waking up right after all the stars. Whoa. We have tremendous leadership in this locker room. We have tremendous professionals. But I’ll say it again, they are phenomenal people.”

Clean Aces Sweep

This was a dominant season for Aces, who had the best record in the league, winning the Commissioner’s Cup and Finals. While team awards were the primary goal, They cleaned up individual awards Along the way.

  • Best player: Aja Wilson
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Aja Wilson
  • Most Improved Player: Jackie Young
  • Coach of the Year: Becky Hammon

This was only the fourth time in WNBA history that a team had been named Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and won the title. The last time the team pulled it off was the Seattle Storm in 2010.

“This is amazing,” Wilson said. “I say all the time, I wouldn’t be where I am today without my teammates. But winning a championship is something no one can take away from you, and once you drop, you’re on the books forever.

“But it’s something that no one can ever take away from you. When you talk about a legacy, you talk about it, you have to win and I don’t win without my teammates. This moment is here, this year here is something I will never forget and this will not be the first. I will never be like LeBron.” And I start naming numbers and things, but no, it won’t be the first. And I’m so happy that I can celebrate this with Chelsea and everyone else because we’ve worked so hard to get to this moment.”

Thomas gets another triple

Just a few days ago, there were no Triples in the history of the WNBA Finals and only two Triples were in play after the season ended. Now, there is a triple-double in Finals history, and both belong to Sun striker Alyssa Thomas. After placing 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists In Sun’s Game 3 winIn Game Four, Thomas had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

She now holds the record for most triples doubles finals (two), most triples doubles finals (two) and most triples doubles qualifiers ever (four).

“Alyssa has been fantastic and a fighter during this whole series, sometimes even trying to get us on her back,” said Sun coach Kurt Miller.

As expected, Thomas and Sun weren’t too interested in awards after their season ended. With that said, the previous two games, and beyond the entire season, were a great showing from one of the game’s most memorable players.

Las Vegas Aces WNBA Championship Equipment Available Now

The Las Vegas Aces won their first WNBA Championship. It is also the first championship for the city of Las Vegas. Celebrate with championship jerseys, hats, caps and more. Shop the full collection here.

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