Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Liberty – Commissioner’s Cup – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (27-3) | New York Liberty (24-6)

 

The Las Vegas Aces failed to win the 2023 WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, falling to the New York Liberty, 82-63.

The Aces vs Liberty played at the Michelob ULTRA Arena on Tuesday.

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media | Kelsea Plum
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

This one won’t count against their regular-season record, but the Las Vegas Aces got outmuscled against the New York Liberty, 82-63, in the Commissioner’s Cup Championship.

Jackie Young led the way for Las Vegas with 16 points (7-of-19 FGs, 2-for-8 3s), four rebounds, and two steals, but the Aces shot 33 percent from the field and 19 percent from 3 as a team, ultimately being one of the leading causes of their demise.

WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week A’ja Wilson disappointed with just nine points (2-of-10 FGs, 5-of-6 FTs) and five rebounds.

Chelsea Gray picked up the slack with 15 points (6-of-14 FGs, 1-for-4 3s), six rebounds, and five assists. Kelsey Plum also helped out with 15 points (4-of-11 FGs, 2-for-6 3s, 5-of-6 FTs), six assists, and two steals.

Despite coming off the bench, Marine Johannes led New York with 17 points (6-of-8 FGs, 5-for-7 3s). WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week Breanna Stewart didn’t have to do much, totaling just 13 points (4-of-16 FGs, 2-for-5 3s), seven rebounds, and two blocks.

The Liberty handled business against the Aces

Jonquel Jones was crowned the Commissioner’s Cup MVP, winning the award off of her stellar performance with 16 points (5-of-10 FGs, 1-for-4 3s, 5-of-7 FTs), 15 rebounds, and two blocks. Jones was tremendous defensively.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media | Alysha Clark
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Wilson’s free throws with 6:29 remaining in the first quarter were the first points of the game for either team, as both offenses started slow.

Wilson was the only Aces player with any success offensively early on. She had six points on 50 percent shooting. Meanwhile, the rest of the Las Vegas squad were a combined 1-of-15 from the floor.

Routing out the rough first quarter for the Aces, they finished the period shooting 19 percent from the field and were 0-of-9 from distance. Wilson was the only player with multiple made field goals, while Young (1-of-6) and Plum (0-of-5) struggled mightily. 

The last time these two teams played, Sabrina Ionescu torched the Aces from beyond the arc. However, this time it was Johannes, as she had a game-best 12 points and was 4-of-4 from 3.

Just as the Aces closed the deficit to two points, Johannes went on a run all by her lonesome, scoring nine points total.

The end of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

With things looking bleak, Gray ignited a rally, and the whole arena was on fire. Las Vegas shook off their slow start and led 34-32. 

The start of the Aces vs Liberty second half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media | Jackie Young
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Gray turned things around, and all of a sudden had 11 points and five rebounds, controlling the pace of the last five minutes of the second quarter as the Aces’ defense locked in, finishing the half on a massive 12-2 run to take the lead into halftime.

Las Vegas held the Liberty to just 26.3 percent shooting in the second quarter.

New York stuck in the game because of their nine made 3s, with five coming from Johannes, while the Aces made up the difference with their free throw shooting.

However, Las Vegas’ luck ran out as two huge 3s from Kayla Thorton late in the third quarter gave the Liberty the lead.

The Aces’ momentum from the second half didn’t carry over. Heading into the fourth quarter, Young and Gray were the only players for Las Vegas that were in double figures for points.

The Aces’ offense was subdued by the Liberty, who led 66-52 with 7:06 to play. Las Vegas shot 32.7 percent from the field and 20 percent from 3-point range.

Las Vegas and New York have secured playoff spots, and the two teams play each other again, but this time in a regular-season game on Thursday. The Aces will look to get back into their groove, while New York is looking to win their seventh straight regular-season game.

The final score of the Aces vs Liberty was 82-63, Liberty.

The Aces will now rematch the New York Liberty on Thursday, August 17th, at 7:00 PM PST.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jake on Twitter @jguchi_

Follow Jake on Instagram @jguchi_

Follow The Franchise on social media

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook

YouTube