LAS VEGAS, NV (July 6, 2022)—Las Vegas will need some additional assistance Thursday if they are to host the Commissioner’s Cup Championship Game on July 26, as Wednesday’s 116-107 loss to New York dropped the Aces a half game back of Chicago. Heading into the Liberty game, a Las Vegas win would have clinched hosting duties for the Aces, but they must now wait until tomorrow’s Sky contest at Indiana to see where the game will be played. New York’s Sabrina Ionescu recorded her third career triple-double in the win with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. A’ja Wilson countered with 29 points and 9 rebounds.
First Quarter (New York 32, Las Vegas 30)
Tied at nine, the Liberty scored nine straight points to go up 18-9. It was still a nine-point game two possessions later, but the Aces scored 14 of the next 20 points to slice the lead to one, 26-25. Kelsey Plum led all scorers with 11 points in the period
Second Quarter (Las Vegas 63, New York 54)
Las Vegas scored 12 straight to open the period and led by double figures for much of the quarter. A’ja Wilson scored 11 points for the Aces in the period, while Chelsea Gray handed out 5 assists. Sabrina Ionescu led the Liberty with 11 points in the quarter.
Third Quarter (Las Vegas 84, New York 83)
Las Vegas built a 10-point lead early in the third, only to watch New York score 11 straight to lead by one. The Aces countered with an 11-0 run of their own, but the Liberty then scored 10 straight to tie the score. New York went 4 for 9 from three-point range in the period, while Las Vegas made 1 of 3.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 116, New York 107)
The Aces scored the first five points of the quarter to go up six, 89-83. New York countered by scoring 12 straight to take a lead they would never relinquish. It was still a six-point Liberty lead with 2:41 to go, when New York scored six straight to effectively end the game. Han Xu scored 14 points in the quarter for the Liberty. New York made 14 of 21 shots from the field while the Aces made 4 of 15.
It has been 845 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered.
New York tied a WNBA record making 18 three-pointers on the night on just 31 attempts (58.1%). Las Vegas made 13 of 27 threes (48.1%).
The Liberty made 57.5 percent of their shots compared to 49.3 percent for the Aces.
Las Vegas went 26 for 30 from the free throw line, while New York made 14 of 16 shots from the charity stripe.
New York Led Las Vegas 11-4 in second chance points.
The Liberty and Aces combined to scored 223 points which is the most points in a regulation (non-overtime) game.
New York tied a WNBA record with 18 made three-pointers.
The team combined for a WNBA record 31 made three-pointers.
The 116 points scored by New York are tied for the 7th most in WNBA history, and the most ever allowed by the Aces
Sabrina Ionescu’s triple-double is the first in WNBA history to feature a player scoring 30 or more points. She also tied the NBA record for most career triple doubles with three.
Kelsey Plum scored in double figures for the 29th straight game and the 86th time in her career (18 points). Plum also connected on 3 three-pointers, making it 29 straight games in which she has connected on at least one from long distance—the longest active streak in the league.
A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 20th time this season and the 128th time in her career (29 points). She missed out on a double-double by one rebound.
Jackie Young scored in double figures for the 18th time this season and the 59th of her career (24 points).
Iliana Rupert scored a career-high 13 points.
The Aces send four players and their coaching staff to the WNBA All-Star Game in Chicago on July 10.
COMMISSIONER’S CUP REPERCUSSIONS & RAMIFICATIONS
The Aces and the Chicago Sky both finished Commissioner’s Cup play with 9-1 records, securing the Western and Eastern Conference spots in the Championship Game respectively. Still at stake is which team will host the Championship Game on July 26.
The first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition, but the teams split their two meetings so far on the year.
The second tiebreaker is overall winning percentage by July 7. Las Vegas is 15-7, and Chicago is 15-6. The Sky have 1 game left at Indiana on July 7.
The third tiebreaker is cumulative point differential in Cup games. Chicago finished at + 82, while Las Vegas is +102 giving the Aces this tiebreaker should it come down to it.
Las Vegas heads out on an 11-day, 5-game road trip on July 28. If Chicago hosts the Cup Championship, that extends the Aces’ road trip to a 14-day, 6-game monstrosity. And nobody wants that. Nobody.