Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Liberty – WNBA Finals – Game 3 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (34-6) | New York Liberty (32-8)

 

The Las Vegas Aces dropped Game 3 to the New York Liberty, 87-73, and will look to win it all in Game 4.

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

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

The Las Vegas Aces fell behind early and could not mount a comeback in their 87-73 Game 3 loss to the New York Liberty in the WNBA Finals at the Barclays Center.

The Aces lost this one despite receiving a playoff career-high 29 points (10-of-22 FGs, 5-of-10 3s) from Kelsey Plum.

When they’re able to load up and swarm the ball, it’s really hard to get good looks,” Plum said. “We didn’t do a great job moving the ball, moving our player, and playing off of closeouts, which has given us success in the first two games.”

Plum also tied her playoff career-high with five made 3-pointers. It was the third time she made five threes in a game this postseason, and marked the sixth time this year she’s made five or more 3s in a game.

The Liberty handled business against the Aces

A’ja Wilson collected her 17th playoff double-double with 16 points (4-of-16 FGs, 8-of-10 FTs) and 11 rebounds, which ranks seventh in WNBA playoff history.

It was the start of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

Chelsea Gray tallied 11 points (4-of-12 FGs), two assists, and three steals. Gray now ranks fifth in the WNBA’s career postseason assists chart, and she now has 265 for her playoff career. She also ranks second in WNBA history for most assists in the finals, with 89.

Unfortunately, Gray left the game with 4:15 remaining in the final frame with an injury to her left foot and did not return.

I don’t think there’s any one person that is going to step up and fill her shoes,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “I can’t give you an update. I’ll let you know when we know.”

For New York, Jonquel Jones scored a team-high 27 points (10-of-15 FGs, 4-of-7 3s), along with having eight rebounds, two steals, and three blocks; Breanna Stewart had 20 points (8-of-16 FGs, 1-of-4 3s), 12 rebounds, and two blocks; Courtney Vandersloot put up 12 points (5-of-10 FGs, 1-of-3 3s), seven rebounds, and six assists.

The end of the Aces vs Liberty’s first half. 

With the score tied at 10, the Liberty scored eight straight points in an 11-2 run for a 21-12 lead with two minutes to go in the first quarter.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty second half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

Plum countered, closing the period with a 6-0 run, leaving the Aces only behind at 21-18 after the first period. Las Vegas connected on 35.7 percent of their shots from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range, while New York hit 42.1 percent overall and 5-of-9 from afar.

Plum evened the score with a 3 in the second quarter; however, the Liberty countered with a 7-0 spurt for a 28-21 lead, which increased to eight points, 31-23, at 7:28. From there, neither team managed to score more than four points in a row.

Las Vegas made 41.2 percent of their field goal attempts but just 28.6 percent from distance, while New York shot 60 percent from the field but cooled to 25 percent from 3-point range.

The Liberty started the second half with 8-straight points in an eventual 14-4 run that expanded their lead to 57-44. Ultimately, New York outscored the Aces 18-10 in the third period. Las Vegas was held to 18.2 percent from the field, while the Liberty netted 46.7 percent of theirs.

In the final quarter, the Aces cut New York’s lead to seven points, 71-64, with less than four minutes to play, but the Liberty outscored Las Vegas 16-9 to close out the game. Plum did all she could, scoring 14 points in the final frame. 

The Aces netted 43.8 percent of their field goal attempts, but New York made 64.3 percent of their shots in the fourth quarter.

The final score of the Aces vs Liberty was 87-73, Liberty.

The Las Vegas Aces will now head into Game 4 against the New York Liberty on Wednesday, October 18th, at 5:00 p.m. PST.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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