Thu, 21 Sep 2023

Aces get rings, drill Sparks

Field Level Media
28 May 2023, 13:19 GMT+10

The Las Vegas Aces collected their championship rings and unveiled their banner commemorating last year's WNBA title, then went on their home court and cruised to a 93-65 blowout of the visiting Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday night.

A'ja Wilson scored 23 points, Kelsey Plum added 19 and Las Vegas led by 31 at the half en route to its third consecutive victory to open the season.

In a 180-degree turn from Thursday night, when they trailed by 12 points on two occasions in the first half before rallying for a 94-85 win, the Aces were on point from the start. They led by 12 less than four minutes into the game and owned a double-figure lead for the game's last 33:24.

Jackie Young contributed 16 points for Las Vegas, which turned the Sparks' stifling defense on them in a dominant first half display. The Aces came up with 16 steals and scored 25 points off the visitors' 19 turnovers.

Los Angeles (1-2) got 16 points from Nneka Oguwmike and 13 from Karlie Samuelson but was never really in the game. The Sparks converted only 36.8 percent of their field-goal attempts and were outscored 25-3 in fastbreak points.

Injuries and illness left Los Angeles short-handed for this one. Chiney Oguwmike, Layshia Clarendon and Jordin Canada, who started on Thursday night and combined for 38 points plus 15 rebounds, sat out because of an illness that sidelined Nneka Oguwmike that night.

There was no mercy from the Aces until the game was decided at halftime. They established a 14-2 advantage at the 6:05 mark of the first quarter when Chelsea Gray drilled a 3-pointer. Plum used the last two seconds of the period to sink a 3-pointer, steal the ball and drain a jumper to give Las Vegas a 31-13 cushion.

The margin reached 20 points for good with 5:56 left in the second quarter when Wilson drained a turnaround jumper. It grew to 59-28 at the break when Plum fed Gray for a 3-pointer with less than a second remaining.

--Field Level Media

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