Liberty vs. Aces score, result: Career-highs lead Las Vegas to big win over New York in WNBA Finals Game 1 | Sporting News (2024)

What a way to kick off the series.

The Aces absolutely dominate the second half, outscoring the Liberty by 20 points to take Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

The backcourt tells the tale. The trio of Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young combine for 72 points. Plum and Young had playoff career highs with 26 each. New York had only 17 points from Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot, who failed to even slow their opponents.

Becky Hammon wanted her team to show out defensively, and Las Vegas sure did. New York looked all out of sorts, unable to find any sort of rhythm in the second half. Jonquel Jones came out swinging in the first half and earned a double-double quickly in the second. But she was shut down, not by the Aces, but by her lack of possession. She had only four shots in the second half.

The reality is that New York could not adjust in time and Vegas did. But it's only Game 1. The Liberty know how to beat the Aces, doing so three times in August including once in Vegas. They (especially Vandersloot and Ionescu) need to figure it out quick. Going down 2-0 against A'ja Wilson is extremely difficult to come back from.

Stranger things have happened, though, and in this series, we can expect anything. It's just the type of championship opening game needed to set up what could be an all-time great WNBA Finals.

MORE: A’ja Wilson, Alyssa Thomas, Aliyah Boston headline 2023 WNBA Sporting News Awards

The Sporting News tracked Game 1 of the WNBA Finals.

Liberty vs. Aces score


Liberty vs. Aces results, highlights from WNBA Finals Game 1

FInal: Liberty 82, Aces 99

5:14 p.m. –Starters for each team leave for the bench. Only 1:20 remains in the game, but it's already over. The Aces will get a massive Game 1 win.

5:10 p.m. – Becky Hammon gets a tech. After the refs don't call Ionescu for traveling, the Aces coach enters the court and has to be held back by Chelsea Gray. Despite a Vegas lead by nearly 20, it's exactly the drama we expected from the series.

4:58 p.m. –New York trails by 17 with six minutes left but it may as well be over. The backcourt is killing the Liberty. At this rate, Vegas is going to roll through them for this win. They look lost. Lots to fix before Game 2 on Wednesday.

4:52 p.m. –Too. Easy. It's a 9-0 run for Vegas, who leads by a game-high 13 points.

You right @cgray209, it's a MOVIEEEE 🎥

📺 ABC | #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

4:44 p.m. –It's all Aces this time. Young looking like a vet, leading the field with a has a playoff career high 24 points. New York has no answer.

End of third quarter: Liberty 65, Aces 72

4:34 p.m. –A'ja doing A'ja things.


📺 ABC | #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

4:30 p.m. – To no surprise, Vegas is hot to start the second half. A 6-0 run gives the Aces a 60-55 lead halfway through the third.

4:25 p.m. –It's all about the threes! Young hits her fourth from the perimeter to give the Aces a one-point lead.

.@JackieYoung3 from beyond the arc to give the @LVAces the 54-53 lead to start the 3Q #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

4:20 p.m. –Who's going to be the difference maker for the Aces? Will Young have an even bigger second half, or will Alysha Clark find her rhythm?

Halftime: Liberty 49, 46

4:04 p.m. –We've reached the halfway point with a three-point lead by New York. Massive showing from Johannès, who has all the momentum, but Young is right on her heels going 4-5 from the 3-point line. Wilson is quiet, with only 10 points, but will undoubtedly find her way to the paint in the second half.

3:58 p.m. –MarineJohannès, are you kidding!? She has 14 points on the game so far.

BAAAANGGG ‼@MarineJ5 with her fourth triple of the game

📺 ABC | #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

3:49 p.m. –Plum hits the layup and we're tied! A 7-0 Aces run has it even at 35. Timeout, New York.

3:48 p.m. –Vandersloot making history.

FLOOR GENERAL ‼@Sloot22 has passed Lindsay Whalen for 2nd on the All-Time Playoffs assists list with 342 and counting

📺 ABC | #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

3:44 p.m. –JJ is the first to 10!

.@jus242 with the TUFF PTS to extend the @nyliberty lead 😤

📺 ABC | #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

3:32 p.m. – The best of the best have arrived.

Two legends @KingJames and @airswoopes22 are sitting courtside of the @nyliberty and @LVAces WNBA Finals Game 1 🤩

📺 ABC | #WNBAFinals | @YouTubeTV

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

3:30 p.m. –Johannès leads New York with eight points at the first break.

It's almost like she's a wizard or somethin' 🧙‍♀️

— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) October 8, 2023

End of first quarter: Liberty 25, Aces 22

3:26 p.m. –Jonquel Jones is headed back to the locker room. She seemed to tweak her ankle a few minutes ago but continued to play.

3:24 p.m. –Marine Johannès nails the three, and it's a 7-0 run for New York! It leads 17-16. Timeout Aces.

La Magicienne with the TRIPLE 🪄 @MarineJ5

— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) October 8, 2023

3:17 p.m. –The X factor Jackie Young is here to play. She has six points in the Aces' 16-10 lead. Timeout, Liberty, with 4:56 left in the first quarter.

3:10 p.m. –And we're off! The Aces get the first shot.

3:00 p.m. –Keep your eye out for a star or two at Game 1.

"New Aces owner Tom Brady will be here. LeBron will be here. ... This is maybe one of the most highly anticipated, electric Game 1s."

-@sportsiren is excited for this year's WNBA Finals 🤩

— ESPN (@espn) October 8, 2023

2:40 p.m. –The first celebrity appearance of the series comes from...

.@Kehlani is back in Vegas for Game 1 of the #WNBAFinals presented by @YouTubeTV 🤩

Tune in to ABC at 3pm/ET!

— WNBA (@WNBA) October 8, 2023

2:38 p.m. –Here's how we line up:


  • A'ja Wilson
  • Chelsea Gray
  • Jackie Young
  • Kelsey Plum
  • Kiah Stokes


  • Courtney Vandersloot
  • Sabrina Ionescu
  • Betnijah Laney
  • Breanna Stewart
  • Jonquel Jones

2:00 p.m. –We're one hour away from tip-off. Will A'ja Wilson come up huge for the defending Aces, or will the versatility of the Liberty stun the home team in Game 1?

How to watch Liberty vs. Aces in WNBA Finals Game 1

  • Date: Sunday, Oct. 8
  • Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • TV channel: ABC
  • Live stream: ESPN, Sling TV

The WNBA Finals begin Sunday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. ET live from Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas. Game 1 will air on ABC, but viewers can stream the game on Sling TV.

Sign up for Sling TV to watch your favorite live sports, news and entertainment. There are no long-term contracts and you can change your channel lineup anytime. Sling base packages (Sling Orange or Sling Blue) start at $40 per month. Sling Orange + Blue starts at $55 per month. DVR is included along with thousands of on-demand shows and movies.

WNBA Finals schedule

DateTime (ET)LocationTV channel
Game 1Oct. 83 p.m.Las VegasABC
Game 2Oct. 119 p.m.Las VegasESPN
Game 3Oct. 153 p.m.New YorkABC
Game 4*Oct. 188 p.m.New YorkESPN
Game 5*Oct. 209 p.m.Las VegasESPN

*If necessary

Liberty vs. Aces score, result: Career-highs lead Las Vegas to big win over New York in WNBA Finals Game 1 | Sporting News (2024)
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