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Aces vs sun
Graphic Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Sun – WNBA Finals – Game 3

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (2-1)  |  Connecticut Sun (1-2)

 

The Las Vegas Aces couldn’t follow their Game 2 performance with another. Instead, the Connecticut Sun flipped the script and blew out the Aces in Game 3 by the score of 105-76.

 

RECAP:

 

For about three minutes of gameplay, the thought of the Las Vegas Aces celebrating a WNBA championship on the Connecticut Sun‘s home court may have crossed the minds of those tuned into ESPN on Thursday night. It took around three more minutes for those thoughts to fade into the nosebleeds of Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Aces had built up an early 12-4 lead over the Sun on the backs of A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young. The defense was turning into offense. 3-pointers were gracing the bottom of the net while the Sun‘s offense was stuck in the same mud it had been in during Games 1 and 2. But after Connecticut coach Curt Miller burned a timeout to settle his team early on, the energy changed, and the Connecticut Sun would begin making history.

Aces vs. Sun Game 3
Photo Credit: WNBA

The first bit of history came in the first quarter. Connecticut would score a WNBA Finals-record 34 first-quarter points on 82 percent shooting from the floor, and the bulk of the damage came by way of a 30-7 run over the final seven minutes of the quarter, which also saw the Aces fall victim to a new-and-improved defensive scheme from Miller and his staff. Connecticut sent double-teams at Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum at every ball screen opportunity, which forced turnovers and took Vegas out of its offensive rhythm. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Sun sprinkled in some possessions of zone defense to keep Vegas out of sorts.

Nobody in an Aces jersey had a solution to the problems Connecticut was presenting until a series of beyond-deep 3-pointers from Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum towards the end of the half cut the Sun lead from 20 to 11 at the half.

But even when the Aces found some offense to creep closer and stay within striking distance, they couldn’t figure out the Connecticut offense. Jonquel Jones played like the former league MVP that she is, while Alyssa Thomas played like the MVP of the night to help their team follow up a 53-point and record-setting 19-assist first half with a 52-point second half.

Vegas‘ offense couldn’t keep up, and Becky Hammon eventually called off the dogs. In the end, it was too much Connecticut Sun and Alyssa Thomas, who recorded the first triple-double in WNBA Finals history en route to a 105-76 Connecticut win.

 

TOP PERFORMERS:

 

Jackie Young (Aces): 22 PTS, 2 ASTS, 5/10 3PT

A’ja Wilson (Aces): 19 PTS, 4 REBS, 3 ASTS, 2 STLS, 3 BLKS

Courtney Williams (Sun): 18 PTS, 5 ASTS

Jonquel Jones (Sun): 20 PTS, 5 REBS, 4 ASTS

Alyssa Thomas (Sun): 16 PTS, 15 REBS, 11 ASTS, 2 STLS, 1 BLK

 

The Aces and Sun stay in Connecticut for Game 4 of the Finals, which is set for a 1:00 p.m. PST tip-off on Sunday, September 18th. ESPN will have the coverage. 

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Cole on Twitter @ColeHoops

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