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Las Vegas Aces Wins Back-to-Back WNBA Titles

By Jeff Stinger

The Las Vegas Aces become the first back-to-back WNBA championship winners after two decades. It was an uphill battle for head coach Becky Hammon and her team as they were down two starters for Game 4. The top-seeded team secured 34 wins in the regular season to top the boards in the postseason. However, critics still doubted their ability to successfully defend their title against a persistent New York Liberty.

With the doubters silenced, let’s take a look at how the Las Vegas Aces completed the monumental achievement.

The Las Vegas Aces’ Victory As It Happened

Despite operating without two key players, the Aces rallied in the second half and kept the deficit close to finishing with a one-point victory over the New York Liberty. A’ja Wilson closed her 2023 campaign with a 24-point and 16-rebound performance. This is her sixth double-double of the 2023 Playoffs and received the WNBA Finals Most Valuable Player award for her incredible efforts.

Jackie Young showcased a clutch performance and scored nine of her 16 points in the final quarter. The win also meant that the Aces became the first team since the 2001-02 Los Angeles Sparks to claim two consecutive titles.

This moment is one for the books. Becky Hammon put on a show for everyone to see even with a depleted roster. The Aces did not have starting guard Chelsea Gray and center Kiah Stokes. Cayla George–who hadn’t started a WNBA game since August 2018–provided spacing and playmaking. She did well to fill in for Stokes and closed her account with 11 points, four boards, and three assists in 30 minutes on the floor.

Las Vegas proved why they are the best two-way team in the league. The team held the best defensive figures in the regular season and had to rely on that end of the floor to keep the Liberty at bay. Their opponents shot below 34% from the floor across three questers and the Aces reeled them in the third and outscored the Liberty 23 to 12. More than that, the Aces overtook the hosts in the final quarter. Wilson paved the way for her team with 18 points and 14 rebounds in 30 minutes.

The Aces kept the intensity high in the first few minutes of the final quarter. Young scored five of their seven points to open up a gap. New York retaliated with multiple clutch shots to close the deficit. However, their efforts weren’t enough to reel Las Vegas in for a do-or-die game as the Aces lay claim to the throne for a second consecutive season. It’s the best conclusion for the organization that ended the 2023 regular season with an incredible 34 wins and six losses.

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