For the Las Vegas Aces and Connecticut Sun, it all comes down to one game.
With a spot in the WNBA Finals on the line, the Aces and Sun meet for their decisive Game 5 of this semifinal series on Tuesday night at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
While Seattle swept its way through a semifinal series against Minnesota, Las Vegas forced this game with an 84-75 win over Connecticut on Sunday.
Angel McCoughtry had 29 points and 2020 WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson added 18 with 13 rebounds as the Aces outscored the Sun 28-16 in the third quarter. Though Vegas continued its 3-point shooting struggles while going 1 of 9, it shot 48 percent from the field overall.
The Aces' franchise has not reached the WNBA Finals since doing so as the San Antonio Silver Stars in 2008 and getting swept by the Detroit Shock.
"This is the playoffs," McCoughtry, who has averaged 15.0 points during the postseason, told ESPN. "This is everything. You give it all you've got."
While McCoughtry is a big reason why the top-seeded Aces' season will continue for at least one more game, the club moves forward without key contributor Dearica Hamby. The WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year for two straight seasons is done for the campaign because of a right knee injury. Hamby averaged 13.0 points with 7.1 rebounds during the regular season and 8.0 points over three playoff games in 2020.
"All the heart in the world. She played with (the injury) the rest of the way and played really hard," Las Vegas coach Bill Laimbeer added to ESPN about Hamby. "But, it's clear that she's unable to play."
Despite a shoulder injury of her own, Connecticut star Alyssa Thomas continues to put her team in position to reach the Finals for a second consecutive season after starting this year 0-5. Thomas scored 25 on Sunday and has averaged 17.5 points during the postseason for the Sun, who shot just 41.3 percent in Game 4.
"The teams that have played with more passion and tenacity have won each of the four games," Sun coach Curt Miller said as posted on his club's official Twitter account. "So, we can't let the inability to string together stops or a turnover or a missed open shot affect how we defense.
"Our calling card is defensively, we've got to go have a great night."
During the Sun's wins in Games 1 and 3 of this series, they held Vegas to 62 and 68 points, respectively. The Aces have scored at least 83 points in each of their two victories.