October 16, 2023
Locked on Women’s Basketball: 2023 WNBA Finals — Game 3’s transcendent Jonquel Jones, Chelsea Gray worries
Historic attendance at Barclays Center characterizes Game 3 Liberty victory
On today’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Howard Megdal reports following live coverage of the New York Liberty’s 87-73 Game 3 win over the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center. Suddenly, a lopsided series turned into a dramatic one, thanks in large part to Jonquel Jones‘ virtuoso performance for the Liberty — 27 points on 15 shots, dominance inside and out. But the game was marred by a late injury to Las Vegas’ Chelsea Gray, whose status for Game 4 is unresolved, and whose loss would fundamentally change the dynamics of how the Aces play on both ends.
First, Howard talks about the electric atmosphere of the Barclays Center during Game 3 of these finals. The attendance shattered a WNBA record and gave the Liberty a huge home-court boost.
“The fans showed up — 17,143, largest gate receipt in the history of the WNBA. That’s what happened at Barclays Center [on Sunday]. That’s what it felt like at Barclays Center… I’ve had the privilege of covering a lot of WNBA playoff games and a lot of postseason games, across sports men’s and women’s. That was one of the most incredible atmospheres I ever experienced,” Howard said.
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After the Aces’ loss to the Liberty on Sunday, the defending champs remain just 40 minutes from securing a WNBA title in back-to-back seasons, a feat not accomplished since 2002. If Chelsea Gray isn’t in the lineup, the Aces will need to adjust quickly to compete against a strong Liberty squad. Howard talks about the impact Gray has on the Aces’ success.
“It’s very sad that Chelsea Gray and the legacy — that she was essentially all but finished writing here — was of a…back-to-back WNBA Champion after having been previously done it; a finals and really a playoff run in 2022 the likes of which we may never see again, ever, ever that’s how great it was…She knows where her teammates are. She knows how to find everyone. It’s beautiful basketball. She’s worked so hard,” Howard said.
The Aces and the Liberty will face off in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday, Oct. 18, live from the Barclays Center on ESPN at 8 p.m. ET.
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