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Las Vegas Aces claim 1st championship in franchise history behind Chelsea Gray, Riquna Williams clutch buckets late

Chelsea Gray got it done early, and Riquna Williams closed it out as the Las Vegas Aces claimed the first WNBA championship in franchise history.

The point gawd came up clutch time and again and Williams hit a series of big shots late in the fourth quarter as the Aces took a 78-71 win over the Connecticut Sun in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, on Sunday.

Gray finished with 20 points and six assists in a gritty performance. She was named Finals MVP after being snubbed from the All-Star and All-WNBA selections this season.

This is the first title in franchise history, and the first time a rookie head coach (Becky Hammon) has won a title in their first season since the league’s inaugural season. It was also the third time in four seasons that a new team has won the WNBA championship.

The Sun made it ugly throughout. It was Connecticut basketball through and through, from the messy nature to the physicality.

The game was competitive throughout with neither team able to grab a hold, even in the final minutes with the game tied at 67-67 with 2:44 to go.

The Sun forced a shot clock violation when Jackie Young couldn’t get her shot off. Courtney Williams then made a jumper on the other end before Riquna Williams hit a 3-pointer to give the Aces a 70-69 lead. The Sun’s Brionna Jones hit two free throws. Riquna Williams hit another triple, before the Sun missed a shot and were blocked by Chelsea Gray. Williams hit a big jumper before the Sun were forced to call a timeout, but the game was all but over by then. Kelsey Plum finished it off with a jumper in the lane to give the Aces a 77-71 lead.

The Aces’ league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year A’ja Wilson added 11 points and 14 rebounds, although Wilson did not have a field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.

The Sun’s Alyssa Thomas, who notched the first triple-double in Finals history in Game 3, had her second straight triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.

Las Vegas Aces’ Chelsea Gray (12) goes up for a basket as Connecticut Sun’s DeWanna Bonner, left, and Brionna Jones (42) defend during the second half in Game 4 of a WNBA basketball final playoff series, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

SOURCE: https://sports.yahoo.com/las-vegas-aces-claim-1st-championship-in-franchise-history-behind-chelsea-gray-riquna-williams-clutch-buckets-late-221902576.html

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