CNN

Holding a seven-point lead with 1:24 left, the Las Vegas Aces looked like they were on a winning streak until Alyssa Thomas hit back-to-back shots to bring the Connecticut Sun back in under three.

But the Aces defense ultimately held firm, thwarting DeWanna Bonners’ desperate attempt to tie the game with a three-pointer as time ticked away.

Led by MVP A’ja Wilson, who contributed 24 points and 11 rebounds, alongside Chelsea Gray with 21 points and three assists, Las Vegas closed out its first WNBA Finals win in franchise history. with a 67-64 win over Connecticut.

“Just got swept up and had one,” Wilson said, according to Sky Sports. “Pretty happy with this one. I’m not going to dwell on that until we have a really tough Game 2 coming up.

In front of a record crowd of 10,135, Las Vegas started off with a bang, building an eight-point lead late in the first quarter.

Connecticut showed no signs of fatigue, however, after their five-game semifinal win over defending champion Chicago and staged a second-quarter comeback to finish the half four points clear while that the Aces only shot 3 for 15.

“Oh, I was fired up,” Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon said, recalling her halftime speech after her team squandered a lead, according to ESPN. “Because everything we talked about, we didn’t do. And true to form, they step in and then do it.

“I don’t even scream in my real life. But when you feel so strongly about how you have to play a certain way…and you don’t execute it, it’s frustrating. But at the end of the day, they know it. They are smart. They get it.

In response, the Aces beat Connecticut 13-3 in the third quarter to regain control of the game, but carried only a slim two-point lead into the deciding fourth.

Gray then opened the scoring with a stunning jump shot from 17ft to give her side a four-point lead with eight-and-a-half minutes remaining, continuing the playmaker’s remarkable post-season in which she averaged 24 points per game and served as the Aces distributor with a 41.4 assist percentage.

Despite a late flurry from Connecticut, Las Vegas held on to take a 1-0 lead in the playoff series and move closer to a game closer to the WNBA title.

Game 2 is on Wednesday where the Sun will look to reverse their deficit.

“I mean, after this game, we have to have a lot of confidence,” said Thomas, who was the Sun’s top scorer with 19 points. “It’s a three-point game, and we had a chance to equalise.

“There are some things we can clean up. Of course we can take more shots, but overall we played a tough game.

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