GAME RECAP: Aces Drop Game 3 to Liberty, 87-73, Look to Rebound in Game 4 Wednesday

BROOKLYN, NY (October 15, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces fell behind early and despite receiving a playoff career-high 29 points from Kelsey Plum, were unable to mount a comeback in an 87-73 loss to the New York Liberty in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center. A’ja Wilson finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, Chelsea Gray scored 11 points and Kiah Stokes grabbed 9 boards. Jonquel Jones scored a team-high 27 points and Breanna Stewart had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Liberty.

The Aces next chance to secure back-t0-back WNBA titles will come on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Barclays Center at 5 pm PT on ESPN.

Box Score | Photos | Highlights


First Quarter Highlights (New York 21, Las Vegas 18)

With the score tied at 10, the Liberty scored 8-straight points in an 11-2 run for a 21-12 lead with 2 minutes to go in the quarter. Plum closed it out with a 6-0 run and the Aces trailed 21-18 after the first period. Plum led the Aces with 8 points and Jones had 8 for the Liberty. The Aces connected on 35.7% of their shots from the field and 25% from 3-point, while the Liberty hit 42.1% overall and 5 of 9 from afar. The Liberty outscored the Aces 6-0 in transition and had 7 assists to the Aces’ 1.

Second Quarter Highlights (New York 43, Las Vegas 40)

Plum evened it up with a 3 but the Liberty countered with a 7-0 spurt for a 28-21 lead, which increased to 8 points, 31-23, at 7:28. From there, neither team managed to score more than 4 in a row. Plum scored 7 for the Aces, while Jones had 10 for the home side. Las Vegas made 41.2% of their field goal attempts but just 28.6% from distance, while New York shot 60% from the field, but cooled to 25% from 3-point range. The Aces held a 7-4 edge on the glass and outscored the Liberty 5-0 on second chance points.

Third Quarter Highlights (New York 61, Las Vegas 52)

The Liberty started the second half with 8-straight points in an eventual 14-4 run that expanded their lead to 57-44. In all, the Liberty outscored the Aces 18-10 in the third period. Gray scored 5 points for the Aces and Jones had 6 for New York. The Aces were held to 18.2% from the field and the Liberty netted 46.7% of theirs.

Fourth Quarter Highlights (New York 87, Las Vegas 73)

The Aces cut the lead to 7 points, 71-64, with less than 4 minutes to play, but the Liberty outscored the Aces 16-9 to close out the game. Plum scored 14 points and Stewart had 6 in the final frame. The Aces netted 43.8% of their field goal attempts but the Liberty made 64.3% of their shots in the 4th quarter. Chelsea Gray left the game with 4:15 remaining with an injury to her left foot and did not return.


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The Aces were held to 33.3% of their field goal attempts and 31.8% from distance, while the Liberty shot 52.4% overall and 43.3% beyond the arc.

Las Vegas made 20 of 23 free throws while New York went 8 for 16.

The Liberty outscored the Aces 12-2 on the fast break.


Plum scored a playoff career-high 29 points and tied her playoff career-high with 5 made 3-pointers. It was the third time she has made 5 threes in a game this postseason, and marked the 6th time this year she’s made 5 or more 3s in a game.

There have now been 17 5-game series in WNBA postseason history in which one team has won the first 2 games. All 17 of those teams have gone on to win the series—14 via a sweep, 3 in 4 games, and 1 who got pushed to a decisive Game 5.

Wilson collected her 17th playoff double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds), which ranks 7th in W playoff history.

Wilson (16 points) has scored in double figures 31 of 36 playoff games.

Gray ranks 5th in the WNBA’s career postseason assists chart, and she now has 265 for her playoff career. She also ranks 2nd in WNBA history for most assists in the finals with 89.


Las Vegas remains in Brooklyn for Game 4, which will tip at 5 pm PT on October 18 on ESPN. If there is a Game 5, it will be played in Las Vegas on October 20.