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Liberty fight back, beat Aces to extend WNBA Finals

Jonquel Jones pumped in 27 points on Sunday as the host New York Liberty staved off elimination in the WNBA Finals with an 87-73 win over the defending champion Las Vegas Aces in Game 3.

Jones made 10 of 15 shots from the field and 4 of 7 from the 3-point line for New York, which also got 20 points and 12 rebounds from Breanna Stewart. Betnijah Laney and Courtney Vandersloot each scored 12 points and Sabrina Ionescu dished out 11 assists.

Kelsey Plum paced Las Vegas with a game-high 29 points, while A’ja Wilson added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Chelsea Gray scored 11 points but left just past the halfway mark of the fourth quarter with a leg injury that required her to be helped to the locker room.

Las Vegas trailed 67-61 with 5:31 remaining after Wilson scored five straight points, but the Liberty put it away with a 12-3 run. Laney and Jones made back-to-back 3-pointers during the stretch, and Stewart capped it with two foul shots at the 2:22 mark for a 79-64 advantage.

Game 4 of the series is Wednesday night in New York. The Aces again will bid to become the first team since the 2001-02 Los Angeles Sparks to repeat as champions.

After allowing more than 100 ppg in the first two games of the Finals, New York came out with a more aggressive defensive performance. It forced early turnovers and held Las Vegas to its worst shooting performance of the series.

After New York established a 21-12 lead late in the first quarter, the Aces briefly equalized to start the second period before the Liberty regained and maintained a small lead for the half’s remainder. Jones’ fadeaway with 1:58 left in the half upped the margin to seven before Gray hit two buckets to pull Las Vegas within 43-40 at the break.

New York gained third-quarter separation thanks to its defense allowing only 10 points. It grew the advantage to 13 before Gray’s layup cut it to 61-50 heading to the fourth period.

–Field Level Media

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