Liberty overpower Aces in Commissioner’s Cup final

Liberty overpower Aces in Commissioner's Cup final

Aug 15, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson (22) defends New York Liberty forward Breanna Stewart (30) during the first quarter at Michelob Ultra Arena.
Image: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Marine Johannes came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points Tuesday night, lifting the New York Liberty to an 82-63 win over the host Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup final.

Johannes made 5 of 7 attempts from the 3-point arc as New York pulled away in the second half for its first Cup championship. Jonquel Jones added 16 points and 15 rebounds to earn Most Valuable Player honors, while Breanna Stewart hit for 13 points.

Sabrina Ionescu chipped in 12 points for the Liberty, and Courtney Vandersloot stuffed the stat sheet with 11 points, 10 assists and six rebounds. New York canned 15 of 35 3-point tries (42.9 percent) and dominated the boards 49-28.

Jackie Young scored 16 points for the defending Cup champion Aces, while Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray each added 15. A’ja Wilson was limited to nine points on 2-of-10 shooting, making her 4 of 24 in her last two games against New York.

The victory was worth $30,000 for each Liberty player, and Jones pocketed an extra $5,000 for winning MVP. Las Vegas players settled for $10,000 apiece.

The league’s two best teams looked like its two worst teams to start the game. They combined to go scoreless on 14 consecutive possessions before Wilson hit two free throws with 6:29 left in the first quarter.

Then New York started finding the range with Johannes supplying a spark late in the period. She canned two 3-pointers to help the Liberty take a 17-8 lead, then made two more for a 28-17 advantage with 7:43 left in the first half.

Las Vegas owned the half’s remainder, ripping off a 17-4 run that included 11 unanswered points to end the half. Young’s driving layup with 29.2 seconds remaining put the Aces ahead 34-32 at intermission.

Young nailed a floater for a 39-32 cushion just over a minute into the third quarter before New York surged. Johannes was involved again with her fifth 3-pointer as the Liberty grabbed a 56-48 lead going to the fourth.

The game didn’t count in the league standings.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.