LAS VEGAS (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 26 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and the Las Vegas Aces routed the New York Liberty 104-76 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 series lead in the WNBA Finals.
Wilson finished 10 of 16 from the field on her way to recording her 26th double-double this season – including her fourth of the playoffs. She’s the third player in WNBA Finals history to have at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in a game.
Chelsea Gray also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists. Jackie Young finished with 24 points and Kelsey Plum had 23.
Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday in New York. No team has ever rallied from a 0-2 deficit in the WNBA Finals.
Jonquel Jones (22), Breanna Stewart (14), Betnijah Laney (12), and Sabrina Ionescu (10) accounted for 76.3% of New York’s points, as the Liberty got just 18 points from six others who played.
New York, which lost by 17 in Game 1, came into the game a perfect 9-0 after losses this year. The Aces made sure that streak ended with a dominant first and third quarter.
The Aces opened the game on a 19-2 run, with 12 points coming from 3-point range. Las Vegas hit seven of its first nine shots – a blistering 77.8% clip – including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
New York, meanwhile, missed nine of its first 10 attempts.
The Aces’ lead grew as high as 21 points in the opening period before taking a 38-19 lead into the second quarter. Las Vegas set a new record for most points in the first quarter of a WNBA Finals. It was also the most points the Aces scored in any quarter all season.
The Liberty came charging back from a 22-point second-quarter deficit behind a 12-0 run, and outscored the Aces 25-14 in the period to cut Las Vegas’ lead to eight, 52-44 at halftime. Jones scored 16 of her points in the second quarter.
New York couldn’t carry its momentum into the third, however, as the Aces used a 17-3 run to extend their lead to 69-47. The Aces outscored the Liberty 28-13 in the third quarter, with 20 points coming from Wilson and Young.
The Liberty couldn’t close the gap and now will try to avoid getting swept.