Las Vegas Aces vs. Connecticut Sun: Live updates, highlights from Game 3 of the WNBA Finals – On Her Turf | NBC Sports

  • September 16, 2022

The Connecticut Sun kept their championship aspirations alive Thursday with a resounding win over the Las Vegas Aces in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals. Sun forward Alyssa Thomas wrote a new entry in the record books with the first triple-double in WNBA Finals history, scoring 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists.
Las Vegas, which holds a 2-1 series lead, was led by Jackie Young with 22 points, while 2022 WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson added 19. Kelsey Plum chipped in 17 and Chelsea Gray scored 11. The top-seeded Aces will have a second attempt to close out their first title in franchise history on the road Sunday afternoon in Game 4 (4 p.m. ET on ESPN).
Sun’s Alyssa Thomas on historic triple-double performance: “That’s what I’ve been doing all season. We’ve been struggling offensively and finally got a game back at home. Me and my teammates were making shots, so none of this is ever possible without them.”
Sun head coach Curt Miller on Alyssa Thomas (video below): “She’s probably the toughest player I’ve ever coached, but she’s the most consistent player in terms of effort that I’ve ever been around. I know what I’m going to get every single day. That’s how she plays and that’s what makes her special. She doesn’t know how to play other than that way.”
“She’s probably the toughest player I’ve ever coached”@CurtMillerWBB speaks about the toughness of @athomas_25 after she erupted for a 16 PTS, 15 REB and 11 AST triple-double ‼️#MoreThan pic.twitter.com/r5k4qngheO
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

Aces head coach Becky Hammon on Game 3 loss: “This game was about physicality and mental toughness and they smoked us on it. Period. The physical follows but the mental for them was there and not us. And kudos to them for executing their game plan and executing it hard. They didn’t do a whole lot different, they just did it harder. They’ve been blitzing us the whole series, they just did it harder and we responded soft.”
Sun’s DeWanna Bonner on Alyssa Thomas’ triple-double: “When you say the engine, she’s the engine. You know, you don’t use that [word] loosely, so shout out to her. We were just able to hit a couple of shots tonight so that she can get her triple-double. So she needs to thank me.” [Laughter ensues.]
Aces’ A’ja Wilson on what went wrong in first quarter as Sun outscored Aces, 34-19: “Defense, defense. We just were not locked in on the defensive and we were a step slow on the defensive end. And that fuels our offense. So we have to be more locked in on the defensive side, more than anything, when you’re playing against a team like Conn. And so for us to come out and lack that, it was gonna be a long game for us regardless of who we played.”
Sun’s Jonquel Jones on Game 3 win: “I think it’s just the MO of our team: When our backs are against the wall, we play really good basketball. Sometimes you wish that you didn’t put yourself in those positions, but that’s done now. All we can do is focus on the next game.”
Aces’ Jackie Wilson on her 22-point performance and what Vegas needs to do in Game 4: “I just did what I supposed to do — knock down open shots. They were leaving me open. I just have to step into it with confidence and make the shot. Besides that, we’ll make a few adjustments. We made it too easy for them. They’re a physical team, and we just have to match their physical energy.”
9:10 Q4: There it is! First triple-double in WNBA Finals history, recorded by Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas (video below). Thomas’ assist on the layup by DeWanna Bonner gives her 14 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Sun lead 83-69. Additionally, Thomas’ 15 boards is a new postseason career high, and she also becomes the first player to record a triple-double in both a regular season contest (two) and postseason contest in a single season.
THE ENGINE ‼️
With this AST @athomas_25 now has a triple-double with 14 PTS, 12 REB and 10 AST
📺 @espn pic.twitter.com/0BqE0MtqfC
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

5:37 Q4: Nearly midway through the fourth quarter, DiJonai Carrington makes two free throws to give the Sun a 92-76 lead. Carrington has nine points and one steal off the bench.
4:22 Q4: Aces head coach Becky Hammon takes out her starters, obviously preparing for a Game 4 in Connecticut. Jackie Young leads all scorers with 22 points, while A’ja Wilson has 19 points, Kelsey Plum 17 and Chelsea Gray 11. Sun lead, 94-76.
0:00 Q4: The Sun pull off the win to keep their championship dreams alive, closing with a 19-0 run to beat the Aces 105-76.
8:59 Q3: The Sun start the third quarter with five unanswered points including a three from DeWanna Bonner (video below), pushing the lead to 58-42. The Sun set two WNBA Finals records in the first half, scoring the most points in the first quarter of a WNBA Finals game (34) and the most assists in any half of an WNBA Finals game (19).
IDK if DB called that or not, but the bank is certainly open 😏
📺 @espn pic.twitter.com/Pb65RacXi5
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

2:56 Q3: Courtney Williams’ jumper from 21 feet makes it 73-61 and all five Sun starters are now in double-digit points. Jonquel Jones leads Connecticut with 18 points.
1:31 Q3: A’ja Wilson’s layup makes it a nine-point game, at 75-66.
0:00 Q3: The Aces win the third quarter, 27-24, but the Sun maintain their advantage and head into the fourth quarter up 77-69.
8:35 Q2: The Sun pick up where they left off in the first quarter, making two unanswered buckets including a three from Natisha Hiedeman to extend the lead to 20 points (39-19).
6:17 Q2: A’ja Wilson ends a five-minute scoring drought for Last Vegas, but the Aces still lag behind by 20 points (41-21).
26.8 Q2: As the second quarter winds down, Connecticut maintains its commanding lead at 53-39. However three Aces players — Wilson, Chelsea Gray (video below) and Jackie Young have all reach double digits in scoring.
The Gray way 🤝
📺 @espn pic.twitter.com/jzguxvGtUD
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

0:00 Q2: Huge three from Kelsey Plum (video below), who swishes it from 41 feet at the buzzer, cutting the Aces’ deficit to 11 points at the half (53-42).
.@kelseyplum10 AT THE BUZZZZER BEFORE THE HALFFF ‼️
📺 @espn pic.twitter.com/2tLWF885e2
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

9:35 Q1: Newly named All-WNBA First Team selection A’ja Wilson gets the first points (video below) on the board for Vegas for the third straight game.
First two buckets for the @LVAces come from none other than @_ajawilson22 ‼️
We live on @espn 📺 pic.twitter.com/0zPqia24sI
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

4:58 Q1: Midway through the first quarter and Aces lead, 15-11 behind nine points from Jackie Young (video below). She had just five points in Game 2.
SHOOOOTER 🗣️@JackieYoung3 is up to 9 PTS, 3-4 from deep
📺 @espn pic.twitter.com/kNP1GZskYY
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

3:15 Q1: The Sun take their first lead of Game 3 on a bucket from DeWanna Bonner, 19-17.
2:13 Q1: DeWanna Bonner swishes a three-pointer in what feels like a change in momentum for Connecticut. The Sun have scored 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting (80%).
0:00 Q1: The Sun finish the quarter on a 10-1 run and lead by 15 at 34-19. Jonquel Jones (video below) has 18 points while Alyssa Thomas is one assist away from a triple-double (12 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists).
.@jus242 really got up for this ooopp ‼️
📺 @espn pic.twitter.com/56cHf2jJnN
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

Ahead of Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, the league announces its All-WNBA selections, featuring 2022 WNBA MVP and Las Vegas forward A’ja Wilson and Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart as unanimous first-team picks. Joining them on this year’s First Team are Aces guard Kelsey Plum, Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith and Chicago Sky center-forward Candace Parker.
Well deserved 💪
Congratulations to the 2022 All-WNBA First Team @_ajawilson22 @breannastewart @kelseyplum10
Skylar Diggins-Smith@Candace_Parker #MoreThan pic.twitter.com/TB0H1ks6vj
— WNBA (@WNBA) September 16, 2022

This year’s All-WNBA Second Team includes Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas, New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, Los Angeles Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike, Sun forward Jonquel Jones and Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles. This marks the eighth all-WNBA Team selection for Fowles, who retired at the end of this season.
The Las Vegas Aces extended their advantage over the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday, winning Game 2 of their best-of-five WNBA Finals series in decisive fashion, 85-71. The 2022 WNBA MVP, A’ja Wilson, powered the Aces with a game-high 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Chelsea Gray (21 points, eight assists) and Kelsey Plum (20 points, seven assists) punctuated the scoring with 20-point performances of their own.
The Sun were paced by Courtney Williams with 18 points and five assists. Also in double figures were Jonquel Jones (16 points, 11 rebounds) and Alyssa Thomas (13 points), while Brionna Jones came off the bench to score 12.
Sun coach Curt Miller on approach to must-win Game 3: “You can’t think big picture. That becomes overwhelming and daunting and feels, at times, bigger. It’s too big. So you’ve got to drill it down. … All we’ll talk about is Game 3, and in particular, all we are going to talk about is the first quarter, and that’s our approach. I think if you start thinking we have to win three in a row, we have to do those kind of things, it becomes big. So we are going to talk about Game 3 and Game 3 only and be ready for that first quarter.”
Aces’ head coach Becky Hammon on balancing “the excitement of going up 2-0 but staying locked in”: “I mean, I don’t see any banners. I don’t see any balloons. Sure as hell glad I didn’t see that confetti again because we ain’t won nothing yet.”
Sun’s Jonquel Jones on mindset for Game 3: We have another opportunity. That’s why it’s a series, and like I said before, we’re going home and we’re going in front of our fans and we are going to use it to help us win the game.”
Aces’ Chelsea Gray on what it will take to close out the series: “I would say, ‘Not look too far ahead.’ We have to focus on winning that first quarter and winning that second quarter, and the big picture will happen. It’s the little things that gets the wins. It’s not like at the end you try to go and out-score somebody. It’s the little things. It’s the rebounding. It’s playing for each other — one more pass, one more play — and that’s what we have been doing all playoffs. We have to be able to do that for Game 3.”
Aces leading scorers (postseason points average):
Sun leading scorers (postseason points average):
Note: Games marked with an asterisk (*) are if necessary
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden plans to meet at the White House on Friday with family members of WNBA star Brittney Griner and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, both of whom remain jailed in Russia, the White House announced Friday.
“He wanted to let them know that they remain front of mind and that his team is working on this every day on making sure that Brittney and Paul return home safely,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at Thursday’s press briefing at the White House.
The separate meetings are to be the first in-person encounter between Biden and the families and are taking place amid sustained but so far unsuccessful efforts by the administration to secure the Americans’ release. The administration said in July that it had made a “substantial proposal” to get them home, but despite plans for the White House meetings, there is no sign that a breakthrough is imminent.
Griner has been held in Russia since February on drug-related charges. She was sentenced last month to nine years in prison after pleading guilty and has appealed the punishment. Whelan is serving a 16-year sentence on espionage-related charges that he and his family say are false. The U.S. government regards both as wrongfully detained, placing their cases with the office of its top hostage negotiator.
Friday’s meetings, which both families have long sought, are intended to underscore the administration’s commitment to bringing home Griner, Whelan and other Americans jailed abroad, as well as to “connect with them on a human level as they undergo an ordeal that the Russian government has imposed on them,” said one of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as the meetings had not yet been publicly announced.
Negotiations have been complicated by the tense relations between Washington and Moscow over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken took the unusual step of announcing two months ago that the administration had made a substantial proposal to Russia. Since then, the administration has followed up in multiple ways to press its offer and get serious negotiations underway, one of the administration officials said Thursday.
The Russians, who have indicated that they are open to negotiations but have chided the Americans to conduct them in private, have come back with suggestions that are not within the administration’s ability to deliver, said the official, declining to elaborate. But the U.S. has been following up through the same channels that produced an April prisoner swap that brought Marine veteran Trevor Reed home from Russia, the official said.
The administration has not provided specifics about its proposal, but a person familiar with the matter previously confirmed it had offered to release Viktor Bout, a convicted Russian arms dealer now imprisoned in the U.S. It is also possible that, in the interests of symmetry, Russia might insist on having two of its citizens released from prison.
Biden spoke by phone in July with Griner’s wife, Cherelle, and with Whelan’s sister, Elizabeth, but both families have also requested in-person meetings. On Friday, Biden plans to speak at the White House with Cherelle Griner and with the player’s agent in one meeting and with Elizabeth Whelan in the other.
The meetings are being done separately so as to ensure that each family has private time with the president. But the fact that they are happening on the same day shows the extent to which the two cases have become intertwined since the only deal that is presumably palatable to the U.S. is one that gets both Americans – a famous WNBA player and a Michigan man who until recently was little known to the public – home together at the same time,
In the past several months, representatives of both families have expressed frustration over what they perceived as a lack of aggressive action and coordination from the administration.
Cherelle Griner, for instance, told The Associated Press in an interview in June that she was dismayed after the failure of a phone call from her wife that was supposed to have been patched through by the American Embassy in Moscow left the couple unable to connect on their fourth anniversary.
Whelan’s relatives have sought to keep attention on his case, anxious that it has been overshadowed in the public eye by the focus on the far more prominent Griner – a two-time Olympic gold medalist and seven-time WNBA all-star. They also conveyed disappointment when Whelan, despite having been held in Russia since December 2018, was not included in a prisoner swap last April that brought home another detained American, Marine veteran Trevor Reed.
Friday’s meeting was scheduled before news broke this week of an unconnected trip to Russia by Bill Richardson, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who has been a veteran emissary in hostage and detainee cases. Administration officials reacted coolly to that trip, with State Department spokesman Ned Price saying Wednesday that dialogue with Russia outside the “established channel” risks hindering efforts to get Griner and Whelan home.
Administration officials say work on hostage and detainee cases persist regardless of whether a family receives a meeting with the president, though there is also no question that such an encounter can help establish a connection. Biden met in the Oval Office in March with Reed’s parents after the Texas couple stood with a large sign outside the White House calling for their son’s release.
Following the inaugural Kroger Queen City Championship last week in Cincinnati, Ohio, (won by Ally Ewing) the LPGA moves west to Oregon for the tour’s longest-running non-major event at the AmazingCre Portland Classic, where players will compete for a $1,500,000 prize purse. After a one-year stint at Oregon Golf Club, the tournament returns to Columbia Edgewater Country Club, which will host the event for the 35th time.
News broke Tuesday that defending champion and world No. 1 Jin Young Ko withdrew from the tournament, citing a nagging wrist injury. However, 2020 champion Georgia Hall, who won the tournament the last time it was staged at Columbia Edgewater CC, will tee it up in Portland along with world No. 2 Nelly Korda, who’ll make her tournament debut as the top-ranked player in the field.
Coverage of the 2022 AmazingCre Portland Classic from Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, Oregon, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.
Along with Hall and Korda, the field features two-time Portland winner Brooke Henderson (2015, 2016), who also won this year’s Amundi Evian Championship, along with past champions Hannah Green (2019) and Marina Alex (2018). Other notable names in the field at Columbia Edgewater CC include more than a dozen LPGA major winners, featuring:
Jin Young Ko, who was ranked No. 2 in the Rolex Rankings and playing in her first event in six weeks, dominated the field at the rain-shortened 2021 Cambia Portland Classic. After play was cancelled Saturday due to weather, Ko finished Sunday with a bogey-free 69 to beat Jeongeun Lee5 and Su Oh by four strokes and earn her ninth LPGA Tour victory.
Columbia Edgewater CC, which opened in 1925 and was designed by A.V. Macan, will play as par 72 with an official yardage of 6,478 yards.
This year marks the 35th time Columbia Edgewater has hosted the LPGA Tour. But it also has hosted the men’s Oregon State Amateur nine times between 1928 and 2020 as well as the men’s Oregon Open four times. The first two editions of the Portland Classic, which was initially staged at Portland Golf Club in 1972 and 1973, were won by Kathy Whitworth before the tournament moved to Columbia Edgewater in 1974, where JoAnne Carner captured the title.
Sei Young Kim set the course record in 2019 with an 11-under 61 in the second round.

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