Las Vegas holds off Connecticut 90-84 in rematch of last year's WNBA finals

UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- — A'Ja Wilson scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and the defending champion Las Vegas Aces remained undefeated, holding off Connecticut 90-84 in a rematch of the teams who played in last year's WNBA Finals.

Jackie Young added 22 points for Vegas (7-0), which led by as many as 19 points and withstood a furious fourth quarter comeback by Connecticut (6-2). Kelsey Plum had 17 points and Chelsea Gray added 14 points for the Aces.

“The good thing is that we played solid enough and we buckled down enough towards the end of that fourth quarter to walk out of here with a win,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said.

Rebecca Allen scored 22 points for the Sun, hitting four of her six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

Alyssa Thomas had her seventh double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for the Eastern Conference leaders, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Brionna Jones added 15 points.

The Aces jumped out to an early 11-4 lead, led 25-14 after a quarter and never trailed.

A steal and a layup by Candace Parker pushed the lead to 19 at 46-27. Vegas led 48-31 at the half and 70-53 after three quarters.

“We have a history of having slow starts,” Wilson said. “So for us, we knew we had to come in with the mindset of making sure that we could take the first punch, but also be able to throw it at the same time. And I think we showed that.”

It was 74-56 before Allen led the Sun on a 17-2 run in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to just three points.

But a driving layup and free throw from Young pushed the lead back to 84-77 with 1:15 to go and the Aces held on.

“We kept coming at them," Sun coach Stephanie White said. “We played more like Connecticut Sun basketball in the second half. Nobody wants to come out without winning the ballgame, but I think we got some good momentum that we can build on.”

The Sun shot just 31% in the first half and made just two of their 14 attempts from 3-point range. They finished 10 of 26 from behind the arc and shooting 41% from the floor.

This was the first meeting of the two teams since the Aces beat the Sun in this arena 78-71 in Game 4 of the Finals last September to win the WNBA title.

The teams have a day off Wednesday before meeting again on the same floor Thursday night.

“We know everybody in the league has to do this at some point,” Hammon said. “But obviously it’s difficult playing such a good team, smart such a seasoned team, veteran team back to back like this. But it is what it is.”


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