LAS VEGAS — Aja Wilson had 26 points and 15 rebounds and the Las Vegas Aces beat the New York Liberty 104-76 on Wednesday night to take a 2-0 lead in the WNBA Finals .
Wilson hit 10 of 16 shots for her 26th double-double of the season, including her fourth of the postseason. She is the third player in WNBA Finals history to have at least 25 points and 15 rebounds in a single game.
“We know what’s going to happen and we have to make sure we step up and take care of the home court,” Wilson said.
The defending champion Aces are now just one win away from becoming the first team to defend their title since the 2001-02 Los Angeles Sparks.
The third game is Sunday in New York. No team has ever come back from a 2-0 deficit in the WNBA Finals.
Chelsea Gray also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 assists, and made some nice no-look passes for easy scores. Jackie Young scored 24 points and Kelsey Plum scored 23 points. It was the second straight game the back three dominated Liberty.
Jonquel Jones (22 points), Breanna Stewart (14 points), Betnijah Laney (12 points) and Sabrina Ionescu (10 points) accounted for 76.3% of New York’s scoring, while Liberty got just 18 points from six other contestants.
New York lost Game 1 by 17 points and entered the game with a perfect 9-0 record this year after the loss. The Aces ended that streak with dominant first and third quarters. They scored 19 of the first 21 points in the opening game, 12 of which came from three-pointers. Las Vegas hit 7 of its first nine field goals, shooting 77.8%, including four three-pointers.
New York, meanwhile, failed on nine of its first 10 attempts.
“It starts with our defense,” Gray said. “We kept the pressure, kept our physicality and were able to have our fluidity offensively.”
The Aces extended their lead to 21 points at the start of the game and led 38-19 entering the second quarter. Las Vegas set a new WNBA Finals first-quarter scoring record. This is also the highest score the Aces have scored in a single quarter all season.
Liberty went on a 12-0 run from trailing by 22 points in the second quarter to outscore the Aces 25-14 at halftime, cutting Las Vegas’ lead to eight points, 52-52. 44. Jones scored 16 points in the second quarter.
However, New York was unable to carry the momentum into the third quarter, and the Aces went on a 17-3 run to extend the lead to 69-47. In the third quarter, the Aces defeated the Liberty team 28-13, with Wilson and Young scoring 20 points.
Liberty was unable to close the gap and will now try to avoid being swept.