Sun Hoping Home Cooking Helps Extend Series
After a defensive slugfest in Game 1 of the WNBA Championship Series, the Las Vegas Aces got back to doing what they do best – scoring early and often.
Regular-season MVP A’ja Wilson was one of three Las Vegas players with at least 20 points as she had 26 points and 10 rebounds in the 85-71 win that put the Aces a win away from winning the franchise’s first WNBA title. Wilson is the first WNBA player with five games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in one postseason.
— Basketball Reference (@bball_ref) September 14, 2022
Connecticut came into the game with the best record in the WNBA (12-2) following a loss, but the Sun were outscored by eight points in the first quarter and by six in the third quarter.
Las Vegas continues to be favored in the matchup of franchises looking for their first WNBA championship. When looking at the series price, the Aces moved from -550 to -1600 after the Game 2 win while the number went from +425 to +900 for Connecticut according to the WNBA playoff odds.
Gray Continues to Deliver in Postseason for Aces
Las Vegas fans had to be just a tad bit concerned when Chelsea Gray suffered an ankle injury. However, the veteran point guard returned and finished off yet another outstanding effort in the postseason.
Gray had 21 points and eight assists in the Game 2 win. Much is made of the fact that Las Vegas has three former No. 1 overall draft picks in their starting lineup. As well as Wilson, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young have played this season, Gray has been the player who has taken Las Vegas to the next level.
Gray spent her rookie season with Connecticut before spending the next five seasons in Los Angeles. While Gray has averaged 11.1 and 13.7 points over the past two regular seasons with Las Vegas, she has been unstoppable during the playoffs.
Gray is averaging 23.3 points and 7.1 assists in the postseason. Playoff success is nothing new to Gray, who has averaged more than 15 points in the postseason in four of the last five years.
Something to consider for those who bet online: Las Vegas is 8-2 against the spread in its last 10 road games.
Bonner Needs to Make Impact for Sun
When the Connecticut Sun made the huge trade to acquire DeWanna Bonner, the hope was that the former WNBA champion would lead the franchise to its first title.
However, in the first two games of the series, the veteran forward has five points on 2-of-18 shooting. She is just 1 of 8 from 3-point range. If Connecticut plans on extending this series, more will be needed from a player who was a part of two title-winning teams during her time in Phoenix.
Bonner averaged 17.3 points over the last three games in the semifinal series against Seattle, and the Sun will need more of that against a high-scoring Las Vegas team.
Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas and Brionna Jones are the only Connecticut players who have scored in double figures in both games in the series. However, that trio was outscored 69-41 by the Las Vegas trio of Wilson, Gray and Plum, so it is going to take more than three consistent scorers for the Sun to hang around in Game 3.
Connecticut has covered against the WNBA betting lines in 10 of its last 14 games.
Aces vs Sun Game Information
- Game: Sun 25-11 (5-5 in the playoffs) vs Aces 26-10 (7-1 in the playoffs);
- Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, Conn.
- Day/Time: Thursday, Sept. 15, 9 p.m. ET
- Aces vs Sun Live Stream: WNBA.com
Aces vs Sun Betting Lines
|Las Vegas Aces||+1 -110||160½-110o||80-115o
|Connecticut Sun||-1 -110||160½-110u||81-115o
Aces vs Sun Prediction
If the Connecticut Sun ever needed the support of the home fans, they need it now with the team on the brink of elimination.
Connecticut will be looking to get a pace of play similar to Game 1 when the Sun nearly stole a game on the road. If Las Vegas is able to get into an early offensive rhythm, as was the case in the first and third quarters in Game 2, the trend of three-game sweeps every other year in the WNBA would continue. Seattle swept Washington in 2018 and Las Vegas in 2020.
There were multiple players who left Game 2 with an injury, but with everything on the line on Thursday night, look for it to be all hands on deck for both teams.
The total has gone under in six of Connecticut’s last eight games.
The Aces are just 3-5-1 against the spread in the last nine games against Connecticut.
After being favored by 6 and 4½ points in the two games in Las Vegas, the odds for Game 3 have hovered around a pick’em. Look for the Sun to find a way to send the series to Game 4.