(Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
The Las Vegas Aces closed with an 11-0 run as they outlasted the Dallas Wings 64-61 on Friday in Arlington, Texas, to complete a three-game sweep of a WNBA semifinal series.
The Aces, the defending champions and the No. 1 seed in this year's playoffs, advance to the WNBA Finals to play either the New York Liberty or the Connecticut Sun. Game 1 will be on Oct. 8 in Las Vegas.
The Wings led by two points heading to the fourth quarter and were up 61-53 after a breakaway layup by Arike Ogunbowale with 4:59 to play. however, Dallas missed its final 11 shots and was held scoreless for the remainder of the game and was swept out of the series.
A layup by Wilson tied the game at 61 with 2:44 remaining. Alysha Clark then hit a free throw with 1:45 left to put the Aces back in front. Natasha Howard missed a 3-point attempt, and Las Vegas' Jackie Young grabbed the rebound, was fouled and sank two free throws with 2.7 seconds left.
A'ja Wilson had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Las Vegas, but she turned the ball over nine times. Chelsea Gray led the Aces with 15 points, while Young and Kelsey Plum scored 11 each.
Ogunbowale's 18 points led all scorers. Dallas also got 14 points from Howard plus 10 points and 15 rebounds from Teaira McCowan.
The Aces slowly took control of the first quarter, building a 15-8 lead at the 4:34 mark on a running layup by Kiah Stokes. Dallas responded with a 7-0 run capped by Ogunbowale's floating bank shot with 1:13 to play in the period, then took an 18-15 lead on Howard's 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
The Wings stretched their advantage to 23-16 on a pair of free throws by Veronica Burton with 8:38 to play in the second period. Las Vegas regained its stride, jumping back to a 27-26 lead on Kierstan Bell's driving floater at the 4:02 mark. Dallas took a 36-31 lead to the break.
Ogunbowale led all scorers with 12 points before halftime, while McCowan snatched 10 rebounds for the Wings. Plum's nine points paced Las Vegas at the break.
--Field Level Media