Sport OKBET – Another nail-biter between the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm. Following an incredible end to regulation, the Aces pulled away in the final few minutes of overtime to win Game 3 110-98 and take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five semi-final series.
It appeared early on that the Aces were going to have one of their dominant offensive games and run away with the game. However, after trailing by 15 points in the first half, the Storm rallied and played much better after the break. By the fourth quarter, it had devolved into yet another back-and-forth battle between two of the league’s top teams.
The Storm appeared to be on their way to a massive comeback victory after Jewell Loyd hit two free throws with 11.9 seconds remaining to extend their lead to four. Nobody was expecting what happened next. An entire game’s worth of drama unfolded in the next five possessions.
First, Riquna Williams hit a 3-pointer to cut the Aces’ lead to one point. After Tina Charles missed two free throws, A’ja Wilson scored on a spinning layup to put the Aces up by one. The fact that Wilson got away with an obvious travel on the play was quickly forgotten when Sue Bird responded with a 3-pointer to retake the lead. With 0.8 seconds remaining, the Storm appeared to be on the verge of escaping. Instead, Jackie Young scored at the buzzer to force overtime. Sport OKBET
In the extra frame, it was all Aces, as they earned one of the biggest victories in franchise history. A’ja Wilson was once again spectacular, finishing with 34 points and 11 rebounds on 14-of-20 shooting. Meanwhile, Chelsea Gray put up 29 points, five rebounds, and 12 assists in another crucial playoff performance. Riquna Williams came off the bench to contribute 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
Breanna Stewart started slowly but came alive in the second half. On another day, her three consecutive baskets in the final minutes of the fourth quarter could have won the game for the Storm. Sport OKBET Her 20 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists all came in defeat. Sue Bird finished with 17 points and eight assists after also believing she had a game-winning shot.
The following are three key takeaways from the game:
End of regulation for all time
The first two games in this series had some fun endings, but they pale in comparison to Game 3. There’s no danger of becoming a prisoner of the moment after this one; the final three minutes of regulation are one of the most exciting stretches of basketball we’ve ever seen in a playoff game. Sport OKBET So much so that it’s worth going over in depth.
We’ll resume with 11.3 seconds remaining. Sport OKBET The Storm extended their lead to four points after Jewell Loyd made two free throws, and the Aces called a timeout to advance the ball. Becky Hammon, the Aces’ head coach, told the team in the huddle that they needed a 3-pointer and set up a perfect play for Riquna Williams, who buried the shot to cut the deficit to one point.
Because the Storm were not in the bonus at the time, the Aces had to foul several times before sending the Storm to the free throw line. Sport OKET They successfully forced the ball into Tina Charles on the second inbounds, who stepped to the line and bricked both free throws.
With 6.9 seconds remaining, the Aces nailed down a play for A’ja Wilson. Sport OKBET This is where things became contentious. Wilson grabbed the ball at the top of the key and spun to the basket for a layup. However, she clearly got away with a few extra steps in the process. Because the officials did not call a travel on the play, and such calls cannot be reviewed, the points stood.
The referees’ error was quickly forgotten, however, as the Storm responded immediately on the other end. Sue Bird buried a 3-pointer in the corner after breaking free after a timeout to put the Storm ahead with 0.8 seconds remaining.
Bird’s three-pointer appeared to be the game-winner, and it probably should have been given the Aces’ lack of time to catch and shoot. But, for unknown reasons, Ezi Magbegor put her hands down and did not contest Jackie Young’s attempt, which sank through after the buzzer sounded and sent the game to overtime.
Wilson makes history with yet another 30-point performance.
A’ja Wilson struggled in Game 1 as the Storm sent extra defenders her way and refused to give her any room to maneuver. She didn’t even reach double figures, finishing with eight points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field. She has been unstoppable since then.
She had 34 points and 11 rebounds on 14-of-20 shooting in her second consecutive 30-point game. Sport OKBET Her controversial layup in the final seconds of Game 3 should not overshadow how special she was; it was a near-perfect performance and a reminder of why she’s one of the leading candidates for MVP.
The Aces played more small-ball with Wilson at the five, making it difficult for the Storm to send extra defenders. Wilson picked apart the Storm with a series of driving layups, jumpers, and putbacks around the basket; she was 9-of-10 in the restricted area in this game. Sport OKBET
Wilson had seven 30-point games in her career prior to this series, all in the regular season. She’s now not only had her first 30-point playoff game, but she’s also had 30-point games in a row for the first time in her career. She became the first WNBA player in history to have 30 points and 10 rebounds in consecutive playoff games. Sport OKBET
Even more impressive is the fact that she has done so following the disastrous Game 1. She didn’t let that outing determine the course of the series, and she’s now assisting her team in turning things around.
Gray does it once more
Chelsea Gray has been on another level since she was left out of the All-Star Game. She has a history of being outstanding in the playoffs. Sport OKBET Game 3 was more of the same, with 29 points, five rebounds, and 12 assists on 12-of-21 shooting.
She made clutch shots when it counted, as she always does. She tied things up with a patented pull-up jumper with a minute left in regulation. Then, in overtime, she sealed the game with eight straight points. Her 3-pointer with 2:06 left to extend the Aces’ lead to six points proved decisive. Sport OKBET
Gray is now averaging 22.6 points, four rebounds, and 7.2 assists in the playoffs on 63.8/62.1/100 shooting splits. Sport OKBET Even if you consider that it has only been five games, those are staggering numbers. The shot-making, in particular, has been incredible.
Despite most of her shots being mid-range pull-ups and 3-pointers, she leads all players in field goal percentage in the playoffs. Look at that shot chart; it appears to be a forgery.
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