Aces take game one of WNBA semifinals, 96-90

Las Vegas Aces guard Riquna Williams (2) lays up the ball during the second half of Game 1 in the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs against the Phoenix Mercury Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Las Vegas. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) is at left. The Aces beat the Mercury 96-90. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces came off eight days rest and took game one of the WNBA semifinals in a 96-90 win over the Phoenix Mercury at the Michelob Ultra Arena.

“They [Aces] came focused today,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer. “If we can maintain the consistency in this series, it’s our game.”

Riquna Williams led the Aces with 26 points, while Kelsey Plum came off the bench and added 25.

“I took advantage of anything that they gave me and didn’t overthink,” said Williams on her career night.

“We bring consistency and energy off the bench,” said Plum. “We don’t care about the numbers. We care about how we can uplift our team.”

Chelsea Gray recorded a double-double, scoring 17 points and dishing out 12 assists.

“We [the Aces guards] were just taking what the defense gave us,” said Gray.

With the win, the Aces jump out to a 1-0 lead in the best of five semifinals series against the Mercury.

The Mercury made it to this series by beating the New York Liberty, 83-82, in the first round and by knocking off the Seattle Storm, 85-80, in the second round.

Las Vegas Aces –

Game Notes:

– The Aces shot 49.3% from the field.
– Las Vegas outrebounded the Mercury, 34-30.
– The Aces got 34 points off the bench.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 3 Riquna Williams
C – 41 Kiah Stokes
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Angel McCoughtry—Out, right ACL

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