The Las Vegas Aces eliminated another double-digit playoff deficit in Game 1 of the WNBA Final on Friday night. Seattle storm forward Brenna Stewart won’t let it go any further than that.
The 2018 league MVP Stewart, who is finishing his first season from Achilles Tears, continued his own 11-point lead to start in the fourth quarter. It lifted the storm from a possession game to a 93-80 victory. The The Best-of-Five series continues Sunday afternoon.
The fire in the fourth quarter made Stewart the first player to score at least 35 points and 15 rebounds. Storm player Sue Bird had already set her own record for aids on a playoff tour.
Stewart, bird set WNBA playoff records
Stewart scored 37 points off 15 of 24 shots and made 5 of 8 3-pointers. He added 15 rebounds, two assists and four blocks. The former Yukon star became the first player to score at least 35 points and 15 rebounds in a WNBA playoff game, and this is two points from breaking the all-time playoff score record.
The 17-year-old Bird, who has already won three titles with Storm, set the final and playoff record with 16 assists. This will boost his career. She had 10 of them in the first half and gave Stewart four points in the fourth quarter.
Jewel Lloyd scored 28 and Epiphany Prince came off the bench to add 11 runs. Seattle took a 17-point lead and tied the Aces in the final 10 minutes.
Angel McCarthy led the Aces with 20 points and nine rebounds. Aja Wilson scored 19 runs with 6 assists.
Turn on the storm switch in the second quarter
The Aces could have started with a good 8-0, but the storm has come here in the break with Stewart ESPN’s Holly Row. They could do it weather, did.
The storm changed a period game to 23-21, with 17 points within half time after the first quarter. McCarthy led the Aces 34-31 in three 3-pointers, but it was only in Seattle that the storm took 18-0 for the next four minutes.
At the end of the first 20 minutes, the storm unleashed 26-6. The bird had 10 assists, the final record for a semifinal, with nine aces combined.
The rest of the comps are not very good. The storm shot 64.7 percent overall, hitting 6 of 11 out of 3. The Aces were surprisingly sharp, hitting 7 out of 12, but that was the bulk of their offense. They made 13 (29.5 percent) out of 44 shots overall, and were leading by 12 points at McCarthy.
Aces eliminates another double-digit deficit
This is what Aces did in the full five games with Connecticut Sun in the semifinals. They advanced and destroyed the 16-point deficit. In Game 1, they destroyed the 19-point deficit by keeping the storm at 12 points in the third quarter.
Their offense went 18-2 at the end of the quarter and went into the final 10 minutes with a bucket of 69-67. McCarthy told Rowe that his team needed to get rid of the tics at the break because it was their first final. The 11-year-old is looking for his first title after leading the Atlanta Dream to the final three times.
Daniel Robinson came to a point and got -1 and 10 seconds later scored on the back of free throws to tie the game at 67-67. Aces never took the lead.
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