The Washington Post

Aces’ Wilson becomes two-time WNBA MVP

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A’ja Wilson claimed WNBA MVP honors for the second time in her career Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Las Vegas Aces forward received 31 of 56 first-place votes from a media panel. Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart was second, garnering 23 first-place votes and finishing 32 points behind Wilson, who had 478.

Wilson also won the award in 2020 and is the seventh player to win it more than once. She averaged 19.5 points and 9.4 rebounds this season while shooting 50 percent from the field and notching 17 doubledoub­les. She led the league in blocks per game with 1.9.

The award was announced one day after Wilson helped the Aces reach the WNBA Finals by knocking out Stewart and the Storm. Wilson also earned defensive player of the year honors. She’s the fifth player to win both awards in the same season; the previous one to do it was Lauren Jackson in 2007.

Wilson’s Las Vegas teammate Kelsey Plum finished third, and

Connecticu­t’s Alyssa Thomas and Chicago’s Candace Parker — a two-time MVP — rounded out the top five in the voting.

Wilson was the No. 1 pick in the 2018 draft — the franchise’s first year in Las Vegas. She led the team to the WNBA Finals in 2020, when the Aces lost to Seattle as the season was played in a Florida bubble because of the coronaviru­s pandemic.

The Aces had the best record in the league this year and will host the WNBA Finals on Sunday against Connecticu­t or Chicago. Those teams will play a deciding Game 5 on Thursday.

GOLF

Billy Horschel finally made a U.S. team as one of six players added to a stacked American roster that will try to win the Presidents Cup in Charlotte for the ninth straight time.

Captain Davis Love III took two other newcomers to team competitio­n in Max Homa, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour last season, and Cameron Young, a 25-year-old who nearly won two majors this year as a rookie.

The other picks went to threetime major champion Jordan Spieth, two-time major winner

Collin Morikawa and Kevin Kisner, who thrives in match play and contended in the 2017 PGA Championsh­ip at Quail Hollow.

The Presidents Cup is Sept. 22 to 25 at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, and these matches would seem to be as lopsided as any since the event began in 1994 to give players from outside Europe a chance to play team competitio­n.

Internatio­nal captain Trevor Immelman filled out his 12-man team Tuesday, picks that were delayed a week over uncertaint­y regarding who would leave the PGA Tour for Saudi-funded LIV Golf. Immelman lost four players who otherwise would have been on the team, including British Open champion Cameron Smith and Louis Oosthuizen.

BASKETBALL

Luka Doncic was asked this week about whether he or Greece’s Giannis Antetokoun­mpo had the better chance of setting a Eurobasket scoring record.

Doncic quickly picked Antetokoun­mpo. A day later, he might have proved himself wrong.

Doncic scored 47 points — the second most by anyone in the history of the European championsh­ips — and led Slovenia past France, 88-82, for the top seed in Group B going into this weekend’s start of the knockout round.

“Luka, obviously, is a fantastic player,” said France center Rudy Gobert, one of the world’s top defenders.

Doncic had 27 of Slovenia’s first 36 points, made 15 of 23 shots from the field and had team highs of seven rebounds and five assists.

Eddy Terrace had 63 points for Belgium against Albania in 1957.

CYCLING

Primoz Roglic’s quest to win an unpreceden­ted fourth straight Spanish Vuelta title ended when he withdrew from the race because of a crash the day before.

The Slovenian cyclist did not start the 17th stage, won by Rigoberto Urán of Colombia.

Roglic went down hard 75 meters (about 80 yards) from the finish while going for the victory in Tuesday’s 16th stage, crossing the line with bruises and bleeding from his right shoulder, arm and leg.

The injuries did not appear serious, but the team and the rider decided it was better not to continue as the race entered the tough final stages.

Roglic had been slowly reducing his gap on overall leader Remco Evenepoel, who now has a clear path to win his first Grand Tour race.

AUTO RACING

Indycar newcomer Scott

Mclaughlin is here to stay with a multiyear contract extension from Team Penske just as the New Zealander heads into his first championsh­ip race since joining the series.

The extension is the third in a month given out by Roger Penske, who also extended the contracts of NASCAR Cup Series drivers Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano.

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