CHICAGO (AP) — Kelsey Plum scored 12 of her 24 factors within the first quarter because the Las Vegas Aces raced to an early 23-point lead, then held on for a 93-83 victory over the Chicago Sky on Tuesday night time to win the second WNBA Commissioner’s Cup championship.
Plum, who received the All-Star MVP in Chicago a couple of weeks in the past, hit six of her 9 3-point makes an attempt.
Chelsea Grey had 19 factors — together with 9 pivotal ones within the third quarter — and earned MVP of the sport. A’ja Wilson had 17 factors, 17 rebounds and 6 blocks because the Aces dominated early, then repelled a number of Sky runs within the second half. Jackie Younger had 18 factors.
Candace Parker led Chicago with 20 factors and Kahleah Copper and Emma Meesseman every added 18. Defending WNBA champion Chicago closed to inside seven factors on the finish of the third quarter, however misplaced a second straight recreation for the primary time this season.
Chicago and Las Vegas completed as the highest groups within the Jap and Western Conferences with 9-1 information within the Commissioner’s Cup in-season event. The Sky (21-7) and Aces (20-8) are also 1-2 within the WNBA common season standings and have secured playoff spots.
Seattle received the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup final 12 months. The championship recreation doesn’t depend in direction of common season standings, however coaches and gamers of each groups mentioned it’s a springboard for his or her stretch runs and a “measuring stick” in opposition to one other high staff with lots on the road.
Members of the Aces earned in extra of $30,000 per participant, whereas these on the Sky earned $10,000 per participant. Grey received an additional $5,000 as MVP of the championship recreation
A brand new wrinkle this season, the WNBA is making $165,000 in donations to charitable and civic organizations throughout this 12 months’s collection. Groups chosen one group of their space, with every group getting $2,000 for a win and $500 for a loss in event play.
The Commissioner Cup winner’s group will get a complete of $28,500 and the championships recreation loser’s group will get $23,500.
The Aces chosen ACLU of Nevada and are one among three WNBA groups to accomplice with a neighborhood ACLU chapter. The Sky selected My Block, My Hood. My Metropolis, a grassroots Chicago non-profit that mentors underprivileged youth via instructional applications and “empowers communities,” totally on the town’s South and West Sides.
The Aces blitzed the Sky early, racing forward 13-0 simply 1:55 in and constructing a 33-14 lead after one quarter and stretching the benefit to 23 factors early within the second.
The Sky mounted a run late within the second quarter to shut to inside 12 factors _ and a crowd of 8,922 at Wintrust Area crowd on its ft. Nonetheless Las Vegas lead 48-34 on the half on 52.6 % taking pictures largely dominant play.
The Sky tightened its protection within the third quarter a closed the hole to 7 factors earlier than Plum hit a 3 within the closing seconds to make it 70-60.
NOT THIS TIME
The Sky and Aces entered 1-1 in opposition to one another in common league place. Chicago’s win, 104-95, got here on June 21 at Las Vegas when it rallied from 28 factors down for the largest comeback in WMBA historical past.
MORE THAN THE MONEY
Each groups’ civic/group teams say they’re grateful for the donations _ and partnerships _ they’re getting from the Fee’s Cup program.
“The Chicago Sky has been an important accomplice and I take into account that extra priceless than the cash,” mentioned Ernesto Gonzalez advertising supervisor of My Block, My Hood, My Metropolis. “They’ve reached out and been nothing however type, inviting us to recreation and dealing with our employees and our youth.”
Athar Haseebullah, govt director of the ACLU of Nevada, saluted the Aces gamers, particularly star A’Ja Wilson, for taking public stand on social points the ACLU is aligned with.
“Members of the Aces are distinguished figures in Las Vegas, “Haseebullah mentioned. “Once they make statements, folks listed. Having their help solely bolsters our work.”