It is a straight-forward task for the Las Vegas Aces: Win and lock up home-court advantage for the WNBA postseason.
The Aces (25-10) can seal the top seed for the start of the playoffs should they defeat the visiting Seattle Storm (22-13) on Sunday afternoon. Las Vegas gave itself that chance by posting an 89-78 win over the defending champion Chicago Sky at home Thursday night.
Kelsey Plum scored 25 points, drained four 3-pointers and doled out five assists in the win. The Aces established a 47-33 halftime lead and finished the game 9 of 21 from 3-point range, which has become an increasingly important part of their attack.
During the Bill Laimbeer era, Las Vegas played an inside-out game, often taking fewer 3-pointers than any team in the league. Under first-year coach Becky Hammon, the Aces pace the league in 3-point percentage (35.9), while averaging just under 90 points per game.
Plum is averaging 20.1 points and is making 41.9 percent of her 3-point tries. She has made a 3-pointer in every game this season.
Hammon was equally pleased with a defense that held Chicago to 3 of 21 on 3-pointers while forcing 17 turnovers.
"Caught them on a little bit of an off-night shooting-wise," she said, "but I'll give some of that credit to our defense for being disruptive."
Seattle clinched the fourth seed for the playoffs on Friday with a dominant 96-69 win over the Minnesota Lynx, spoiling Sylvia Fowles' final home game.
The Storm got 23 points from Tina Charles and another 21 from Jewell Loyd.
They compiled 29 assists on 38 made baskets, one game after setting a single-game league record with 37 assists in a 111-100 win at Chicago.
"Things are clicking more and more every game," Gabby Williams said. "We're making those reads better, reading each other better."
--Field Level Media