Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Liberty – Game 27 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (24-3) | New York Liberty (22-6)

 

The Las Vegas Aces were held to their lowest-scoring performance of the season in their 99-61 loss to the New York Liberty.

The Aces vs Liberty played at the Barclays Center on Sunday.

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media Chelsea Gray
Photo Credit: David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images

The New York Liberty outscored the Las Vegas Aces 50-17 in the second half to even the season series between the clubs, sending Las Vegas to its third defeat of the year. 

New York also held Las Vegas to its worst shooting night of the year, as the Aces connected on just 32.9 percent of their shots from the field. The 38-point margin of defeat is also the largest for the team since it moved to Las Vegas.

It was one of our best defensive games all season long,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “We’ve been preaching a way we want to play. Everyone was on the same page. Great defensive teams aren’t just one player, sometimes it’s just playing harder.”

A’ja Wilson had a tough outing, as she was just 2-of-14 from the field, totaling nine points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. Wilson also had an injury scare late in the first quarter when she caught an elbow to the face from Jonquel Jones on a post move. It was the first foul of the game.

The reigning WNBA MVP stayed down for a few seconds before getting up and going back to the locker room as the play was reviewed and eventually upgraded to a flagrant foul. Wilson returned to hit the two free throws before returning to the locker room.

The Aces handled business against the Liberty

I’m feeling good,” Wilson said. “For league protocol I had to take the concussion test. We’ll see how it goes in the morning, but right now I’m straight up.”

The start of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media Kelsea Plum
Photo Credit: David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images

Wilson also took things to the social media app “X” to address the concerns.

I see people saying I’m concussed, I’m not, Doc checked me and said I was good,” Wilson said. “I doubt I’ll ever shoot 2-for-14 again, I pray I don’t.” 

I’m so tired of people talking crazy on my name when it comes to this MVP talk, I knew this game was gonna bring it out of people,” Wilson added. “Basketball is a game, a game I love and one thing is for certain, I’m never gonna be perfect at but I’m gonna grow and have fun every time I step foot on that court.”

Picking up the slack was Jackie Young putting up 16 points (6-of-9 FGs, 2-for-5 3s), Chelsea Gray finishing with 15 points (7-of-14 FGs, 1-for-3 3s), three rebounds, and six assists, and Kelsey Plum totaling 12 points (4-of-16 FGs, 2-for-6 3s), three rebounds, and three assists.

For New York, Sabrina Ionescu led all scorers, pouring in 31 points (12-of-19 FGs, 6-of-10 3s), as well as securing five rebounds, and seven assists. The Liberty as a team drained an astounding 17-of-38 shots from 3-point range.

The end of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

Every starter for the Liberty scored in double figures, with Breanna Stewart aiding Ionescu with 23 points (8-of-20 FGs, 4-for-9 3s), six rebounds, five assists, three steals, and three blocks.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty second half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media Jackie Young
Photo Credit: David Dow/NBAE/Getty Images

I think the statement we made was we’re a team that plays hard and when we lock in and are all on the same page defensively and offensively it’s hard to stop,” said Stewart.

Las Vegas started well, scoring six of the first 10 points of the game, however, the Liberty went on an 8-0 run, forcing Becky Hammon to call a timeout. Whatever was said in the huddle, set the Aces straight, as they scored eight straight points. Wilson had three blocks in the first quarter alone.

New York countered, opening the second period on a 10-0 run to go up by seven, 29-22. The Aces bounced back with an 11-3 run of their own to retake the lead, but it was short-lived as a 3 from Ionescu put the Liberty back on top where they remained the rest of the game. 

New York outscored the Aces 12-0 in second-chance points, while Ionescu scored a game-high 17 points in the quarter. Las Vegas got killed on the boards, as they were outrebounded 26-12.

New York scored the first eight points coming out of halftime, extending their lead to 13, 57-44. The Liberty closed out the third quarter scoring 15 of the last 20 points to go up by 26. New York made 12-of-19 shots from the field, including 5-of-9 from distance while Las Vegas missed 14-of-17 field goal attempts.

It was a disastrous third quarter for the Aces, who got outscored 30-9.

26 points was the largest deficit the Aces have faced in a regular season game since August 5, 2019, against the Washington Mystics.

The Liberty extended their lead to as many as 42 in the quarter. Stewart outscored the Aces by herself, 11-8, as Las Vegas went 4-of-16 from the field, including 0-of-7 from 3-point range.

The Aces and Liberty will meet again in Las Vegas on August 15 for the Commissioner’s Cup Final.

The final score of the Aces vs Liberty was 99-61, Liberty.

The Aces will now take on the Dallas Wings on Tuesday, August 8th, at 5:00 PM PST.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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