Aces Win 1st WNBA Championship in LV History After Beating Sun; Chelsea Gray Wins MVP

Doric SamSeptember 18, 2022

UNCASVILLE, CT - SEPTEMBER 18: Chelsea Gray #12 of the Las Vegas Aces drives to the basket during Game 5 of the 2022 WNBA Finals on September 18, 2022 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The Las Vegas Aces have won their first WNBA championship in franchise history, defeating the Connecticut Sun 78-71 in Sunday's Game 4 to close out the best-of-five series 3-1 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

THE LAS VEGAS ACES ARE WNBA CHAMPIONS ♠️ <a href="https://twitter.com/HighlightHER?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HighlightHER</a> <a href="https://t.co/ehMrhst9Q8">pic.twitter.com/ehMrhst9Q8</a>


🏆 CHAMPIONS 🏆<br><br>For the first time in franchise history, the <a href="https://twitter.com/LVAces?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LVAces</a> are <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WNBA?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WNBA</a> Champs, defeating the Connecticut Sun 3-1 in the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WNBAFinals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WNBAFinals</a> presented by <a href="https://twitter.com/YouTubeTV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@YouTubeTV</a> to take the title ‼️<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MoreThan?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MoreThan</a> <a href="https://t.co/KjErTsQTIM">pic.twitter.com/KjErTsQTIM</a>

The Aces used a balanced effort to secure the first professional sports title for the city of Las Vegas. Chelsea Gray led the team with 20 points and was named WNBA Finals MVP. She averaged 18.3 points and 6.0 assists during the series.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Chelsea Gray wins 2022 WNBA Finals MVP 🏆 <a href="https://twitter.com/HighlightHER?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HighlightHER</a> <br><br>18.3 PPG<br>58% FG<br>45% 3PT FG<br>6 APG<br><br>Wow. <a href="https://t.co/3Rj3LbVYcx">pic.twitter.com/3Rj3LbVYcx</a>

Riquna Williams added 17 points off the bench, connecting on five of nine three-pointers. Kelsey Plum chipped in 15 points while Jackie Young had 13.

Reigning WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson struggled with her shot, scoring 11 points on 4-of-13 from the field. But she played all 40 minutes and added 14 rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

After a disappointing loss in Game 3, the Aces opened the game with a ton of energy and quickly took a 10-point lead in the first quarter. But the Sun would not go down quietly on their home floor, cutting into the deficit before the period ended.

Connecticut briefly took the lead in the third quarter, but it was short-lived. Courtney Williams, who finished with a team-high 17 points, did her best to keep the Sun in the game, but it wasn't easy to keep up with Vegas' balanced attack.

The Aces began to pull away in the fourth quarter before the Sun stormed back and took the lead on a jumper by Courtney Williams. But Riquna Williams scored the next eight points for Las Vegas to put the game away.

Alexa Philippou @alexaphilippou

Some sort of poetic justice given the fact that we've talked about how (relatively) depleted the Aces' bench has been all season and Riquna Williams is about to secure them a championship

Jackie Powell (she/her) @ClassicJpow

Becky Hammon once again with the clutch ATOs. The Aces are able to find Riquna Williams who had the hot hand. 17 points off the bench for Williams. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WNBAFinals?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WNBAFinals</a>

Hayley McGoldrick @GoldieOnSports

nobody wants this aces championship more than riquna williams right now

Just Women’s Sports @justwsports


Eric Nehm @eric_nehm

Riquna Williams has ice in her veins. <a href="https://t.co/qVztwrwyXw">https://t.co/qVztwrwyXw</a>

M.A. Voepel @MAVoepel

Riquna Williams with a season-high 17 points (5 of 9 from 3) for <a href="https://twitter.com/LVAces?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@LVaces</a> is playing her biggest in what looks like the most important game in her career.

Breezyyy 🤩 @breezyhalll

Riquna Williams deserves her flowers! She stepped UP. 🗣

Jonquel Jones added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Sun. DeWanna Bonner added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Alyssa Thomas had a triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Sunday's win wraps up a banner season for the Aces. The team finished as the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs with a 26-10 regular-season record and a win in the Commissioner's Cup. WNBA legend Becky Hammon now has her first championship ring, becoming the only head coach in league history to win a WNBA title in her first season.

In the end, it was a storybook conclusion to the 2022 season for the Las Vegas Aces.