Sue Bird career ends as Aces beat Storm to reach WNBA Finals

Sue Bird career ends as Aces beat Storm to reach WNBA Finals

STORM ICON. Sue Bird played her entire 19-year WNBA career in Seattle.

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Sue Bird bids the WNBA goodbye after 19 years as the Seattle Storm fall prey to the Las Vegas Aces in their best-of-five semifinals

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story erroneously reported in the subhead that it was a best-of-seven semifinal series. This has been corrected.

Chelsea Gray scored 31 points and dished out 10 assists, A’ja Wilson also had a double-double, and the Las Vegas Aces advanced to the WNBA Finals by defeating the host Seattle Storm, 97-92, on Tuesday, September 6.

The top-seeded Aces won three straight games after losing Game 1 in the best-of-five semifinals series. The Finals will open in Las Vegas on Sunday, with the Aces opposing the winner of the Connecticut Sun-Chicago Sky series, which concludes with Game 5 on Thursday.

Wilson had 23 points and 13 rebounds, Jackie Young scored 18, and Kelsey Plum had 15 for the Aces.

Breanna Stewart scored a career-high 42 points and Jewell Loyd added 29 for the fourth-seeded Storm. Sue Bird, playing the final game of her 19-year WNBA career, had 8 points and 8 assists.

The Aces led by 7 after three quarters before Bird, 41, made a three-pointer to start the fourth-quarter scoring. Seattle pulled even at 67-67 on a Loyd three-point play with 7:30 to go before Gray made a three-pointer and Wilson added a three-point play to give Las Vegas a six-point edge.

Seattle closed within 2 points three times before taking an 83-82 lead on Gabby Williams’ three-point play with 2:37 remaining.

The score was tied twice before Gray made a three-pointer and added another basket to give the Aces a 92-87 lead with 30.7 seconds left.

Stewart’s putback pulled the Storm within 95-92 with 6.1 seconds left, but Young made a pair of free throws to seal the outcome.

Wilson had an assist and a basket as the Aces scored the first 7 points of the third quarter to take a 51-47 lead.

The Storm missed their first 10 field goal attempts of the half before Stewart’s basket trimmed Las Vegas’ lead to 54-51.

The Storm got as close as a point, but Gray made the last two baskets to give Las Vegas a 66-59 lead at the end of the period.

The Aces scored the first 6 points of the game before Stewart scored 13 straight Seattle points to help the Storm take a 23-19 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Loyd scored 9 of the Storm’s first 10 points in the second quarter and Seattle held a 47-44 halftime lead. – Rappler.com

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