Palmetto, FL (September 29, 2020)—The Aces advanced to the WNBA Finals for the first time since moving to Las Vegas, Tuesday, as A’ja Wilson posted a 23-point, 11-rebound double and Angel McCoughtry scored 20 in a, 66-63, victory over the Connecticut Sun in a win-or-go-home Game 5 of the semifinals.
First Quarter (Connecticut 30, Las Vegas 17)
Las Vegas led 11-10, but the Sun scored 20 of the next 26 points to go up 30-17. Alyssa Thomas was 6 for 7 for 12 points in the period.
Second Quarter (Connecticut 45, Las Vegas 39)
Connecticut extended its lead to as many as 16, and was still up 39-25 with 7:19 remaining, when Las Vegas scored 6 straight to cut the lead to 8. They sliced it to 6 with 1:20 to go. Angel McCoughtry scored 12 points in the period.
Third Quarter (Connecticut 54, Las Vegas 53)
Las Vegas trailed by 10, 49-39, but ran off 11 straight to take a 50-49 lead with 4:20 to go in the period. From that point forward it was a one possession game until the end of the game.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 66, Connecticut 63)
Neither team led by more than 3 the entire period. The Aces trailed by one, 63-62, with 2:39 remaining, but scored the final four points of the game from the free throw line (All by A’ja Wilson).
It has been 200 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered.
Las Vegas’ bench, which led the league in scoring this year with 35 points per game, was held to 0.
The Aces went 19 for 22 from the free throw line, while Connecticut made 8 of 9.
Connecticut outscored the Aces 14-2 in fast break points.
A’ja Wilson went 9 of 10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and connected on a field goal, outscoring the Sun 11-9 in the quarter.
A’ja Wilson has scored in double figures in all 27 Aces game this year (22 in the regular season and 5 in the postseason)
A’ja Wilson recorded her third straight double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Bill Laimbeer coached in his 61st playoff game tonight, tying Cheryl Reeve for second most all-time behind Mike Thibault’s 70.
Bill Laimbeer will coach in his fifth WNBA Finals (2003, 2006-08 with Detroit; 2020 with Las Vegas). That is the second most by a head coach behind Cheryl Reeve who has led the Minnesota Lynx to six Finals appearances.
Bill Laimbeer is looking to become the second head coach in WNBA history to win a championship with two different franchises (2003, 2006, 2008 with Detroit). Brian Agler won titles with Seattle (2010) and Los Angeles (2016).
Bill Laimbeer is the fifth head coach to lead two different franchises to the WNBA Finals (Brian Agler—Seattle in 2010; Los Angeles in 2016-17. Mike Thibualt—Connecticut in 2004-05; Washington in 2018-19. Dan Hughes—San Antonio in 2008, Seattle in 2018. Anne Donovan—Charlotte in 2001; Seattle in 2004).
Las Vegas advances to the WNBA Finals where they take on the Seattle Storm beginning Friday, October 2. Tip is slated for 7 pm ET/4 pm PT on ESPN2.