The Aces prevailed over the Liberty by a score of 99-82 in front of a sold-out crowd at their home court, the Michelob ULTRA Arena.
New part-owner Tom Brady, along with NBA sensation LeBron James, came to see the reigning champion Aces play.
In January of this year, Brady purchased a stake in the WNBA team from Mark Davis, making him a minority owner.
Afterward, the quarterback would put money into another one of Davis’s sports franchises, the Las Vegas Raiders.
Defending champion pulled away from the Liberty in the second half, helped by 26-point efforts from Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum.
A’ja Wilson scored 19 points and grabbed 8 boards, while Chelsea Gray contributed 20 points and 9 assists for Las Vegas on her 31st birthday. Young shot 5/8 from beyond the arc.
On the night, five different New Yorkers scored in double digits. Breanna Stewart, the league MVP this year, scored 21 points to lead the Liberty. Jonquel Jones added 16 points and 10 boards, and Marine Johannes scored 14 points in relief. Despite entering the playoffs averaging 16.3 points per game, Sabrina Ionescu scored only seven points.
Wednesday in Las Vegas will host Game 2 of the best-of-5 series.
Despite featuring three WNBA MVPs, this Finals game ended with a same margin of victory (nine points) as the teams’ regular season matchups.
The Aces ensured this by turning the game into a rout early in the fourth quarter, when they went on an 11-2 run to extend their lead from 67-63 to 78-65. At one point, Las Vegas had a 94-72 lead with 3:32 to play.
The Aces are undefeated in the playoffs and have been unbeаtable so far. New York will need a very different response if they want to win their first title after the Liberty showed they could beаt Las Vegas during the regular season.