The Liberty Stayed Alive With A Big Win Over The Aces In Game 3 Of The WNBA Finals

After dropping the first two on the road, the New York Liberty returned to Brooklyn needing a win to stay alive in the WNBA Finals, or else the Las Vegas Aces would be celebrating back-to-back championships in the Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon.

The Liberty would come out firing away from deep, with Jonquel Jones, Betnijah Laney, Sabrina Ionescu, and Breanna Stewart all connecting on multiple threes in the game.

The league’s MVP would get rolling in the first half, as Stewart shook off any frustrations from the first two games in Vegas to post a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double.

While the offense was impressive, it was the defense that really showed up for the Liberty after getting dominated by the Aces in the first two games. New York held the Aces to 73 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the field, as Jones and Stewart combined for five blocks inside to close off access to the rim.

Vegas would hang around largely due to to the performance of Kelsey Plum, who led all scorers with 29 on the afternoon, but got little in the way of offensive help, as A’ja Wilson had 16 points but on just 4-of-16 shooting and Chelsea Gray had 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting. For the Liberty, it was Jones who led the way with 27 points and eight rebounds, knocking down four threes including a big one late to push New York well in front.

The Liberty would cruise to an 87-73 win and pull to within a game of tying the series and sending it back to Vegas for a winner take all Game 5. Adding to the concern of the Aces was a late game injury to Chelsea Gray that caused her to hop to the back, putting no weight on her left leg and in serious pain once she got to the tunnel.

Gray has been sensational in this series and part of Las Vegas’ big advantage in the first two games was the backcourt trio of Gray, Plum, and Jackie Young. If the Gray injury is as serious as it looked and she can’t go for Game 4, Vegas will have to lean even more on Plum and Young to create opportunities for others, with Gray’s ability to see the floor something that will be very difficult to replace.