Game four of the WNBA Finals was a tight and tense affair with neither team asserting supremacy until the final moments. While the charm of winning a championship on home court is nice (game five would have been played in Las Vegas), the Las Vegas Aces came into game four determined to hoist the trophy, and that is exactly what they did. The Aces prevailed over the Connecticut Sun 78–71 in front of a packed house at Mohegan Sun Arena. This is the first major league professional championship won by a team in Las Vegas. “This was the Aces’ year,” said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert.
“We’ve just got to enjoy this moment and stay in the moment because we ain’t even talking about next year yet,” said Finals MVP Chelsea Gray after the win. “I mean, to do it with this group, knowing that we have commitment for next season is special. We’re doing it for each other and it’s created a bond. But right now, we’re just going to enjoy this moment.”
Most of the players on the roster, including Gray, league MVP A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Riquna Williams, whose 3-point shots sealed this victory, are under contract to return next season. Head coach Becky Hammon, the first former WNBA player to win a title in her first season as head coach, will also return. One could say she beat her former boss because Sun coach Curt Miller was an assistant coach at Colorado State when Hammon was a player.
“Probably the biggest thing I’m proud of is just how they have come together over the course of the past five, six months to really become a team. You saw different people step up at different moments tonight and that’s what makes us difficult to beat,” said Hammon.
“They have all kind of been on their own little journeys, and yet we land here on the same road with the same destination,” she added. “It’s been a pleasure for me to coach them and I look forward to building on it.”
The final post-season honors were announced. The All-WNBA First Team is comprised of Wilson, Plum, Breanna Stewart of the Seattle Storm, Skylar Diggins-Smith of the Phoenix Mercury and Candace Parker of the Chicago Sky. The All-WNBA Second Team is Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones of the Sun, Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty, Nneka Ogwumike of the Los Angeles Sparks and Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx.