WNBA Playoff Semi-Finals Game 1, Things To Takeaway

Diana Taurasi
Diana Taurasi

The Tuesday night WNBA Playoffs semifinals presented a pair of exciting Game 1s. Chicago Sky won the first game of the night with 101-95 against Connecticut Sun in a double-overtime to take a 1-0 lead in the series. 

Las Vegas Aces won the second match of the night against the very competitive Phoenix Mercury with 96-90 to go up 1-0 in their matchup.

Chicago Sky player Courtney Vandersloot with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 18 assists made the second triple-double in playoff history and set a new playoff assists record. Candace Parker added 22 points, five rebounds, and six assists in a usual all-around performance. 

The MVP In The WNBA

Jonquel Jones won the MVP trophy earlier in the day. She finished with 26 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks, but it was not enough for the Sun. They struggled to score while on the offense besides making trips to the free-throw line. The Sun ended the season on a 14-game winning streak. This was the first loss for them since July 3. 

In Vegas, the Aces were backed by brilliant performances from their backcourt trio of Riquna Williams (26), Kelsey Plum (25), and Chelsea Gray (17), who scored a total of 68 points. A’ja Wilson contributed 15 points, nine rebounds, and three assists, including several key baskets down the stretch.

As for Phoenix Mercury, it was Brittney Griner who stole the show. She contributed 24 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in another awesome showing this WNBA postseason. Unfortunately for the team, they just could not find a way to get enough points and will now have to play from behind in the series. 

Courtney Vandersloot has led the WNBA in assists for the past five seasons and set quite a few records along the way. Presently, she has a few more to add to her ever-growing list. Vandersloot put on a terrific show on Tuesday night, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 18 assists to record just the second triple-double in playoff history and set the playoff assists record.

Kelsey Plum was back at the WNBA after missing the previous season with a torn Achilles tendon.

A’ja Wilson did not unleash her full potential in Game 1. For the majority of the night, she was pretty quiet as the Aces guards ran the show. Heading into the fourth quarter her score was still in single digits.

On three straight possessions, Wilson hit a mid-range jumper, got loose in transition for a layup, and crashed the glass for a putback. All told she went on a personal 6-0 run to give the Aces the lead back to 10 with three minutes left. The Mercury hung around, but they were unable to pose a threat.

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