No bench? No problem, at least for the Las Vegas Aces.
In Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, the Las Vegas Aces took a 99-82 win against the New York Liberty. Of those 99 points, 91 came from four Aces starters.
Kelsey Plum (26), Jackie Young (26), Chelsea Gray (20) and A’ja Wilson (19) dominated for Las Vegas, which outscored New York by 20 points in the second half to take the 1-0 series lead. No four players have combined for more points in a WNBA Finals game, per ESPN’s Alexa Philippou.
The Aces’ other eight points came from Alysha Clark, the first player off the bench for the defending champions. Clark played 28 minutes; the rest of the Aces’ bench played just five minutes combined.
Kiah Stokes, the fifth starter for Las Vegas, is a defensive specialist, often trading places with Clark depending on possession. In Game 1, Stokes finished with zero points, but she had five rebounds and three assists.
Before Candace Parker’s injury, she held Stokes’ role as the second post player in the starting lineup alongside Wilson, averaging 9.0 points and 5.4 rebounds. Yet even with Parker on the sidelines, the Aces’ starting lineup is fearsome for opponents, as they proved again Sunday.
With the victory, Las Vegas has won its first six games of the 2023 postseason. The No. 1 seed Aces swept the No. 8 seed Chicago Sky and the No. 4 seed Dallas Wings to reach the championship series. Five other teams in WNBA history have won their first six postseason games, and all went on to win the title, per ESPN Stats & Info.
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