The score says it all as the Las Vegas Aces advance to the first round of the playoffs on Wed Aug 17, 2022 (@LVAces photo)
Aces Light It Up In the Fourth Quarter Beating the Storm 109-100
By Barbara Mason
Two powerhouse teams met Sunday when the Las Vegas Aces (26-10) took on the Seattle Storm (22-14) at Michelob ULTRA Arena. The Aces are in first place in the Western Conference and are fighting for that first seed. The Storm are nipping at their heels in second place and this game will be another battle between the two teams.
The Arena in Las Vegas celebrated their highest attendance with 10,015 fans showing the leaps and bounds that women’ basketball has taken in recent years.
The first quarter was neck in neck with the Aces winning it by the slim margin of 29-26. At the half the Storm led by a single point 51-50 with a long way to go in this game.
The Aces took a two points lead at the end of the third quarter and this game would go down to the wire.
Chelsea Gray made all the difference in this game especially in the fourth quarter sinking critical free throws in the final minutes. The final was 109-100. Chelsea finished with 33 points followed by A’Ja Wilson with 25 points and ten rebounds. This was Gray’s career high. Kelsey Plum had 23 points.
The Storm had a great showing and gave the Aces all they could handle but just came up short. Jewell Loyd finished with 38 points.
All eyes will be on the Eastern Conference leader, the Chicago Sky who had the same record as the Aces going into their game against the Phoenix Mercury today. That game was just starting at the time of this post.
In this last game of the season for the WNBA the Aces now head into round one of the playoffs and await their opponent that is still to be determined.
The Aces won their third straight game with an 89-78 win over the Chicago Sky at Michelob Ultra Arena.
“Obviously, a quality win,” said head coach Becky Hammon. “We saw some resiliency today.”
“Overall, a great team performance,” said guard Kelsey Plum. “The defense was locked in. To be as locked in as we did, that was pretty cool.”
The Aces were led by Plum with 25 points including going 4 for 5 from three-point range.
“She [Plum] was very good,” said Hammon. “Her ability to get into the paint is becoming next level.”
Guard Jackie Young scored 22 points, while A’ja Wilson and Riquna Williams each scored 12.
“I just tried to be aggressive,” said Young. “I got the ball and I was just trying to make the right plays and reads.”
The Aces now sit atop the WNBA standings with Chicago at 25-10 with one game remaining in the regular season. With a win over the Seattle Storm on Sunday, the Aces would clinch the number one seed in the WNBA playoffs.
“No one wants to be first in the regular season,” said Hammon. “That isn’t our goal. We have much bigger goals.”
The largest crowd in Seattle Storm history turns out to see the Storm’s Sue Bird’s retirement as the visiting Las Vegas Aces came out on top winning the contest at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle on Sun Aug 7, 2022 (AP News photo)
Aces Come Out On Top In Hard Fought Battle versus the Storm 88-81
By Barbara Mason
Sunday afternoon the Las Vegas Aces (22-19) took on the Seattle Storm (20-12). The Aces have won five of their last seven games and sit in first place in the Western Conference. In their last outing the Aces lost a close one to the Mystics 82-80 and were looking to get back on the winning track. The Storm have been a bit up and down in their last seven games winning only three of them. It would prove to be a challenge for both teams.
The Aces were leaning heavily on Kelsey Plum and A’Ja Wilson. The Storm’s Breanna Stewart was a real challenge for the Las Vegas defense. This turned out to be a closely contested game between the first and second place teams in the Western Conference.
The game could have not have been closer as the first quarter came to an end. The Aces led 19-18 in the opening quarter in a hard fought game. At the half the Aces led by a single point 44-43. Both teams scored 25 points in the second quarter in this Western Conference battle.
Las Vegas took a slight lead as the third quarter came to an end 68-63. As the fourth quarter wore one the Aces extended their lead with under three minutes left in the game 81-74. Las Vegas finished off the Storm in the final minutes 89-81 for a well deserved win.
Both of these teams fought to the end in this game It was the brilliant shooting of A’Ja Wilson that made all the difference with 29 points and lots of help from teammates Chelsea Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young. Kiah Stokes finished the game with eight rebounds.
Next up for the Aces will be on Tuesday in a matchup with the Atlanta Dream in Vegas. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM PT