Aces Light It Up In the Fourth Quarter Beating the Storm 109-100

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.

Aces move into first place tie with 89-78 win over Chicago

Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) during a WNBA game on Thursday, August 11, 2022 at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, NV. (Photo Credit: Sports Radio Service/Shawn McCullough)

By Shawn McCullough

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.”

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 46.3% from the field.
Las Vegas was out-rebounded by the Sky, 35-29.
The Aces forced 17 Sky turnovers.

Game Starters:

C – 41 Kia Stokes
F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Dearica Hamby, out, right knee bone contusion

Aces win second straight, beat Dream, 97-90

Las Vega Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) runs for a layup while Atlanta Dream forward Cheyenne Parker, left, guard Tiffany Hayes, second from left, and guard Maya Caldwell, right, run to guard her during the second half of a WNBA basketball game at Michelob Ultra Arena on Tuesday, August 9, 2022, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review Journal)

By Shawn McCullough

Four Aces players scored 20 or more points in a 97-90 win over the Atlanta Dream at Michelob Ultra Arena.

A’ja Wilson led the Aces with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray added 22.

Forward Jackie Young dropped 20.

Las Vegas was deadly from three-point range, going 14 for 27 from long distance.

The Aces led at halftime, 47-44, but the Dream rallied in the third quarter to take a 65-62 lead going into the fourth quarter.

With a strong fourth quarter, the Aces put the game away, outscoring Atlanta 35-25 in the final quarter.

With the win, the Aces improved to 24-10 on the season and pulled to within one game of the WNBA leading Chicago Sky.

The Aces will play their final two games of the regular season at home, starting with a huge battle on Thursday against the Sky and then the finale on Sunday against the Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 47.8% from the field.
Las Vegas out-rebounded the Dream, 32-29.
The Aces got just nine points off the bench.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces Come Out On Top In Hard Fought Battle versus the Storm 88-81

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

Aces rally late, fall short to Wings, 82-80

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces erased a 14-point deficit in the 4th quarter, but fell short to the Wings, 82-80, in Dallas.

“Hard fought game,” said head coach Becky Hammon. “I thought we were digging out of a hole most of the game, but we were there at the end.”

Down two points with 3.8 seconds left, guard Chelsea Gray inbounded the ball on a set play to spring center A’ja Wilson, but Wilson missed the layup to send the game to overtime.

“It happens,” said Gray. “It’s going to hurt, but we should have never been in that position in the first place.”

“A’ja was the first option, it was a catch and shoot play,” said Hammon.

Wings center Teaira McCowan led Dallas with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

“That’s a team [Dallas] that is playing for its playoff life and they are playing well right now,” said Hammon.

Gray led the Aces with 28 points, hitting five three-point shots, while forward Jackie Young added 19.

“My teammates were getting me the ball and I was just knocking them down,” said Gray.

With the loss, the Aces fell to 22-10 on the season.

The Aces will play the last game of a five-game road trip on Sunday against the Storm in Seattle.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 44.9% from the field and hit 10 shots from three-point range.
Las Vegas was out-rebounded by the Wings, 37-32.
The Aces got just two points off the bench.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces fall to Mystics, 83-73

Photo Credit: WNBA

By Shawn McCullough

The Mystics went on a 13-0 run late in the fourth quarter to beat the Aces, 83-73, in Washington, D.C.

“That was very much a playoff type of atmosphere, very physical,” said head coach Becky Hammon. “We need to learn to play through that.”

A’ja Wilson led the Aces with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while guard Chelsea Gray added 20.

“They just stayed consistent defensively and they stayed within their schemes,” said Gray. “We were playing right into their hands.  We need to stay more focused mentally.”

Wilson recorded her 15th double-double of the season.

Guard Kelsey Plum scored 15 points, going 3 for 9 from three-point range.

“I did a terrible job of shot selection and we gave up a ton of offensive rebounds,” said Plum on the fourth quarter. “We didn’t get A’ja [Wilson] the ball when we needed to.”

The Mystics swept the season series, 3-0, over the Aces.

“They have a lot of defenders on the court,” said Hammon. “All of the hustle categories, we lost.”

With the loss, the Aces fell to 22-9 on the season.

The Aces will play the fourth game of a five-game road trip on Thursday against the Wings in Dallas.

Las Vegas is one of five WNBA teams to have clinched a playoff berth with five games remaining in the regular season.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot just 40.6% from the field and went 9 for 26 from three-point range.
Las Vegas was out-rebounded by the Mystics, 38-30.
The Aces got just five points off the bench.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces win fourth straight, beat Fever, 94-69

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces took back-to-back games against the Fever with a 94-69 win at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Las Vegas jumped out quickly, taking a 21-13 first quarter lead and controlled the rest of the game.

The Aces were led by guard Kelsey Plum, who dropped 26 points and shot 9 for 12 from the field.

A’ja Wilson, Jackie Young and Theresa Plaisance each added 13 points.

The Aces held the Fever to just 31% from the field and forced 14 turnovers.

With the win, the Aces improved to 22-8 on the season.

The Aces will play the third game of a five-game road trip on Tuesday against the Mystics in Washington, D.C.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 50.7% from the field and went 6 for 17 from three-point range.
Las Vegas was out-rebounded by the Fever, 39-37.
Center Kiah Stokes came off the bench and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces keep rolling, beat Fever, 93-72

Photo Credit: WNBA

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back in a 93-72 win over the Indiana Fever at Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“Overall, I was pleased with the effort and our defense,” said head coach Becky Hammon.

The Aces defense held the Fever to 36.8% from the field and forced 13 turnovers.

A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum each scored 22 points to lead the Aces, while Jackie Young added 15.

“I take a lot of pride in the energy of this team,” said Wilson. “We just have to keep going and keep building.  We have to focus on us and focus on getting better.”

Young played high school basketball in Princeton, IN, 150 miles from Indianapolis.

“It’s fun to come home,” said Young. “I look forward to this game every year.”

With the win, the Aces improved to 21-8 on the season.

The Aces will play the second game of a five-game road trip on Sunday against the same Indiana Fever in Indianapolis.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 52.8% from the field and went 9 for 26 from three-point range.
Las Vegas out-rebounded the Fever, 41-28.
The Aces turned the ball over 19 times.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces win Commissioner’s Cup, beat Sky, 93-83

Las Vegas Aces’ Kelsey Plum (10) scores past Chicago Sky’s Azura Stevens during the first half of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup basketball game Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces won the second-ever Commissioner’s Cup with a 93-83 win over the Sky in Chicago.

Guard Kelsey Plum led the Aces with 24 points, while going 6 for 9 from three-point range.

A’ja Wilson recorded a double-double scoring 17 points and pulling down 17 rebounds, while guard Chelsea Gray added 19.

All WNBA teams played Commissioner’s Cup games throughout the season which eventually pit the top two teams from each conference with the best records from those games.

The game does not count towards the WNBA standings, but each Aces player earned a $30,000 bonus, while each Sky player earned a $10,000 bonus.

The Seattle Storm beat the Connecticut Sun last year to win the first Commissioner’s Cup.

The Aces will next head out on a five-game road trip starting on Friday in Indiana against the Fever.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot 50.0% from the field and went 9 for 21 from three-point range.
Las Vegas and the Sparks each had 40 rebounds.
The Aces led the entire game.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces come up big in fourth quarter, beat Sparks, 84-66

Aces center A’ja Wilson (22) battles Sparks center Liz Cambage (1) in the first quarter of a WNBA game at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, July 23, 2022. (Photo credit: Shawn McCullough/Sports Radio Service)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces outscored Los Angeles 27-13 in the fourth quarter to beat the Sparks 84-66 at Michelob Ultra Arena.

Las Vegas led 57-53 at the end of the third quarter, but started to get shots to fall in the fourth quarter.

“Solid defensively, it wasn’t easy offensively,” said head coach Becky Hammon. “It wasn’t until that fourth quarter until we could break it open a little bit.”

“We were smarter defensively in the second half,” said guard Chelsea Gray. “In the second half, we stayed in front of people and didn’t let them get second chance points.”

The Aces were led by guard Kelsey Plum, who scored 29 points and went 4 for 8 from three-point range.

“She [Plum] is a key piece to our offense,” said A’ja Wilson. “She is reading the defense, getting to the basket and hitting threes.”

Wilson has now scored 20 points or more in seven straight games.  She scored 24 points and pulled down six rebounds.

“My teammates are setting me up,” said Wilson.

With the win, the Aces improved to 20-8 on the season and pulled to within one game of the WNBA leading Chicago Sky.

The Aces will next travel to Chicago on Tuesday to play the Sky for the Commissioners Cup.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

The Aces shot just 41.4% from the field and went 10 for 27 from three-point range.
Las Vegas out-rebounded the Sparks, 38-32.
The Aces improved to 5-1 after the All-Star Break.

Game Starters:

C – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 5 Dearica Hamby
F – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None