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The Las Vegas Aces are the 2022 WNBA champions. They clinched the title on Sunday afternoon by beating the Connecticut Sun, 78-71, in Game 4 of the Finals to take the series, 3-1. Chelsea Gray, who went for 20 points, five rebounds and six assists on the day, was named Finals MVP

After cruising past the Phoenix Mercury in the first round, the Aces faced Breanna Stewart and Seattle Storm in the semifinals. Despite losing Game 1 of that series, they bounced back to win three straight and take the series in thrilling fashion. A'ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray were phenomenal in what will go down as one of the best playoff series in league history.

As for the Sun, they had some trouble in the first round and needed to win Game 3 on the road against the Dallas Wings to sneak into the semifinals. There, they faced the defending champion Chicago Sky and went down 2-1 before battling back and ultimately winning the series with a stunning fourth-quarter comeback Game 5. 

Now, the Aces and Sun will meet to determine this season's champion. Here's everything you need to know about the matchup:

No. 1 Las Vegas Aces def. No. 3 Connecticut Sun, 3-1

Players to watch

Aces: A'ja Wilson

Earlier this week, Wilson was named MVP for the second time in her career, and in the process became the fifth player in league history to win both that award and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season. As the Aces' best player she is the focus of every opponents' game plan, and there have been a few times this postseason where teams have been able to keep her quiet by preventing her from getting involved. When she is able to get touches, though, she dominates. She's averaging 20.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in the playoffs, and in the semifinals made history as the first player to have consecutive 30-point, 10-rebound games in the postseason. 

Sun: Jonquel Jones

On the other side, the Sun boast the 2021 MVP. This has been a somewhat strange and frustrating season for Jones, who was notably benched late in the fourth quarter of the Sun's Game 3 loss to the Sky in the semifinals. She has not been her usual self, nor has she seen her usual touches or playing time due to the return of Alyssa Thomas. Still, Jones is putting up 14.4 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game in the postseason, and there have been flashes of her brilliance. The Sun will need her at her best this series if they want to pull off the upset. 

Three storylines/keys to the series

1. Can Chelsea Gray keep this up?

Chelsea Gray's brilliance has been one of the biggest storylines over the past three weeks. Time and again she has come up with big shots for the Aces in crunch time, and has arguably been the best player of the entire playoffs. She's averaging 24 points, 4.3 rebounds and 7.7 assists; entering the Finals she is second in scoring and first in assists for the playoffs. 

Even more impressive is how efficient she's been in the process. Despite most of her shots being pull-up jumpers and 3-pointers that have been well defended, Gray's shooting 62.6 percent from the field and 59.5 percent from 3-point land. She boasts a 75.8 true shooting percentage, which is on pace to be the best ever for a playoff run in either the WNBA or NBA. 

This just might be the greatest shooting run we've ever seen in professional basketball in this country. That the Aces have only played six playoff games so far is all that's keeping her case from being definitive. Should she keep this up in the Finals, her case will be definitive. 

But can she do so? The initial thought is to say no, because you would expect the law of averages to catch up with her. It hasn't yet, though, and the Sun do not have many great options for trying to guard her. Both Natisha Hiedeman and Courtney Williams will have trouble dealing with Gray's size and strength at the point guard position; if they Sun give the job to a bigger forward like DeWanna Bonner, that will just leave them undersized elsewhere. This could be a series where we see more of Odyssey Sims and Dijonai Carrington off the bench. 

If Gray maintains this level of performance, the Aces will almost certainly win the title, but if she regresses to "very good" instead of "historically dominant" that opens the door for the Sun. 

2. Which team will impose their will?

With new head coach Becky Hammon implementing a more modern style, the Aces were the best offensive team in the league this season by a wide margin. They finished first in pace (98.64), 3-point percentage ( 36.1) and turnover percentage (14.1). And their 109.6 offensive rating was second only to the 2019 Washington Mystics in the history of the league. They spread the floor, play fast and are unstoppable at times, particularly when their small-ball lineup is on the court. 

On the other side, the Sun are more of an old school operation. Their four best players are all power forwards or centers, and they hang their hat on defense, toughness and physicality. They had the second-best defensive rating in the league (96.3), the best offensive rebounding rate (37.1) of any team since the 2015 Atlanta Dream and scored 46.2 percent of their points in the paint. 

Nothing tells the story better, especially on the offensive side of the ball, than the fact that during this postseason the Aces set a new record for 3-pointers made in a game (23) and the Sun set a new playoff record for points in the paint in a game (66). 

Following the Sun's Game 5 win over the Chicago Sky in the semifinals, Jonquel Jones told CBS Sports that whichever team imposes their will is going to win. 

"I think for us we're gonna have to make it a messy game again," Jones said. "You got a lot of iso ball with Chelsea Gray, you got A'ja [Wilson] who can score the ball in a lot of different ways. I think the beauty of the game is that we're a really good defensive team and they're a really good offensive team. It's gonna be a battle of the wills."

If this is a free-flowing, up-and-down series, the Aces will win; they have too much offensive firepower. If the Sun can succeed in mucking things up and turning every possession into a real grind, they'll have a chance. 

3. History on the line

There are a number of parallels between these two teams, who have had plenty of success in recent seasons. For the Aces, this is their fourth consecutive playoff appearance; they have been to at least the semifinals on all four occasions and are making their second Finals appearance in this stretch. The Sun, meanwhile, have been to the playoffs in six consecutive seasons; they have also been to four consecutive semifinals and are likewise in the Finals for the second time in this run. 

Neither team has been able to break through and win it all, though. The Aces were swept by the Seattle Storm in the 2020 Finals, while the Sun lost to the Washington Mystics in five games in the 2019 Finals. In fact, neither team has ever won a championship. The Aces are 0-2 all time in the Finals, while the Sun are 0-3. Along with the New York Liberty and Atlanta Dream they are among the four active franchises without a trophy. 

Something has to give this season. One of these teams will end their title drought and become the 11th franchise in WNBA history to win it all. 


The Aces enter this series as clear favorites (-280 to win the series per Caesars Sportsbook), and for good reason considering they are a historically good offensive team and have home-court advantage. In the end, those two factors should prove the difference. Try as they will to make this an ugly, physical scrap, it's just hard to see how they keep up with the Aces. Pick: Aces in 4