After Game One of the WNBA Finals on Sunday – narrowly won by three points Las Vegas Aces Over the Connecticut Sun Twice best player Aja Wilson Approach a Las Vegas colleague Kelsey Bloom and “I told her she needed to get it all together.”
Bloom, the team’s top scorer in the regular season (averaging 20.2 points per game), has struggled for most of the playoffs to find her groove, scoring only 39% of her shots from the field and 26% of 3 after the first game. Hitting the 3-key late in the last quarter on Sunday, I started 0 against 8 from the field.
“At the end of the day, that’s what you should be doing,” Wilson said. “[I made] I’m sure she understood we needed her for the shots, I know it sounds tough, but KP is a professional, and she just got out there and took care of the business.”
Wilson’s fondness, which Bloom said she would welcome, led to a “statement game,” in Wilson’s words, of the 2017 No. 1 overall pick on Tuesday night, helping propel the Aces to an 85-71 win that made them one. Winning is far from clinching his first WNBA title.
While the series now moves to Uncasville, Connecticut, for games 3 and 4 (if needed), no team in WNBA playoff history has come back from a 2-0 deficit to win a top-five series.
Aces coach Becky Hammon said Bloom’s ability to go down was the difference in game two. The former University of Washington star took six of her seven paintball shots to join Wilson and Chelsea Gray As the top scorer with 20 points, while also making seven assists, he is linked to achieving a personal high in this postseason.
“A lot of the time, I find it hard to handle myself, and I feel like I was a little disappointed with my performance during the whole qualifying,” Bloom said. “I’m glad they carried it, and I decided to join the party.
“I feel like in years past, I might have fallen head over heels and went deep into a hole. But through a lot of things I’ve been through over the years, it has taught me that I will always bounce back, and I know that about myself and I will keep shooting.”
Wilson and Gray continued their historic post-season tears, the first (26 points, 10 rebounds) by scoring their fifth consecutive game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, and tied for the longest streak in WNBA history, including the regular season and playoff games. .
“You could say she ran, but she did it all season,” Bloom said of Wilson. “I felt that she was the most consistent player at night, in the evening offensively and defensively in this league, and that’s why she is the best player. It’s fantastic.”
Gray (21 points, eight assists) amassed her fifth playoff game with at least 20 points and five assists, one shy of the record for most post-season.
Sun coach Kurt Miller said: “Chelsea Gray has contested shots. They take incredibly difficult shots.” “It just separates it now really.”
The Big Three in Ace of Plame, Wilson and Gray (67 points) almost outperformed Sun (71 points) on their own.
Las Vegas used the big first and third quarters to build their lead, and although Sun made it a three-point game early in the third inning, the Aces used 31-14 to lead by 20 games midway through the fourth inning. .
“It starts from the defensive side,” Hamon said. “Our defense is weak. They went out and did not spend.”
At one point in the match, Hammon was shown on a motorbike saying she was “so happy” the aces were hitting the sun in the paint (24-12). Behind Plame and others, Las Vegas continued to dominate that stage of the game, eventually outselling the Sun within 46-28. With 54% of their points coming from paint, he scored the highest average of paint goals of any game in the post-season.
“They really want to congest the fairway, so I think we play higher and wider and put on good screens and have good angles and do good readings,” Gray said. “A lot of times they are going to put two people on the ball, and how do we deal with that once we see that and play from those actions. Once we get good distances we can get a lot of different things in the paint or ejection of the bowlers.”
Former Hammon coach during her stint as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, NBA legend Greg Popovich, attended Tuesday’s content and visited the Aces in the locker room after the win.
“You don’t need me, but it was great watching you play, it was great watching you on TV,” Popovich said as filmed in a reaction video posted to Twitter. “The way you execute, the way you play physically, it’s great to watch, honestly. You play great basketball. And it’s about consistency, so you have to keep going.”
Then he reminded the team of the sweetest victories: “On the way”.
The Sun has now lost 10 losses in the Finals, the most drawn in WNBA history with Minnesota Linux, while still searching for their first title in the franchise. But they are trying not to focus on their 2-0 deficit as the series returns to their home ground.
“You have to dig into it, and we’ll be back in action as we get ready for Game 3 and all we’re talking about is Game 3,” Miller said. “In particular, all we’re going to talk about is the first quarter, and that’s our approach. I think if you start thinking that we have to win three in a row, we have to do that kind of thing, it becomes big.”