LOS ANGELES (July 12, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces enter the All-Star Break with a 19-2 record and a three-and-a-half game lead over second place New York thanks to a 97-78 road win over the Los Angeles Sparks (7-13). A’ja Wilson recorded a 25-point, 12-rebound double-double, as the Aces made 54.4 percent of its shots on the evening.
First Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 32, Los Angeles 15)
A’ja Wilson scored the first 4 points of a 7-0 game-opening run, eventually outscoring the Sparks by herself in the quarter, 16-15. She went 7 for 8 from the field while the Aces shot 68.4 percent as a team (13 for 19).
Second Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 54, Los Angeles 31)
The Sparks cut the Las Vegas advantage to 15 early in the period, but an 8-0 Aces run turned a 39-22 lead into a 47-22 cushion with 2:03 to go before intermission. Wilson and Jackie Young paced Las Vegas with 7 points each, while Nneka Ogwumike led all scorers with 8. Los Angeles committed 6 turnovers in the period.
Third Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 80, Los Angeles 52)
The Aces scored the first point of the period on a Kelsey Plum free throw, but Los Angeles rattled off 10 straight points to slice the Las Vegas lead to 14, 55-41. Las Vegas closed the quarter on a 10-0 run of its own though, to head into the final stanza with a 28-point advantage. Kelsey Plum scored 10 points to lead all scorers, as the Aces made 56.2 percent of its shots in the quarter. The Sparks committed 4 turnovers which Las Vegas flipped into 10 points.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 97, Los Angeles 78)
Las Vegas pushed its lead to as many as 29 in the fourth. Both teams went to their benches for most of the quarter, although the Sparks’ Azura Stevens led all scorers with 11. The Aces committed 8 miscues over the final period, which the Sparks turned into 13 points.
It has been 1,215 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered. In 2022, three officers were federally charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and civil rights violations. One of the officers later pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, marking the first conviction in the case.
The ACLU is currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States.
The Aces made 54.4-percent of their shots from the field, while the Sparks made 43.6-percent of theirs.
Las Vegas went 14 for 16 from the free throw line, while Los Angeles went 6 for 8.
The Aces connected on 9 of 22 (.409) from 3-point range, while the Sparks made 4 of 21 (.190)
The Aces are now averaging 94.0 points per game on the year, which is slightly ahead of the 2010 Phoenix Mercury’s record of 93.9.
Las Vegas leads the WNBA in points per game (94.0) as well as opponent points allowed (78.6). Only one other team has done that in the history o the league—the 1998 Houston Comets.
Teams have made 50 percent or more of their shots in 48 games this season. Las Vegas’ offense accounts for 12 of those.
There have been 54 games decided by 10 or more points this season, and the Aces have been on the winning end of 13 of them.
A’ja Wilson recorded her 13th double-double of the season (25 points, 12 rebounds) and the 67th of her career (17th most in league history). Her career total is the most by any WNBA player since Wilson entered the league in 2018.
A’ja Wilson’s 16 points in the first quarter are the most she has ever scored in a single period (14, 2x, last, June 24, 2023 vs. Indiana), and her 23 points in the first half also set a career benchmark (22, 3x, last, June 26 vs. Indiana). The franchise records are 19 points in a quarter (Kelsey Plum, July 31, 2022 at Indiana), and 26 in a half (Becky Hammon, September 6, 2011, at Los Angeles; Kelsey Plum, September 13, 2021 vs Dallas).
The Aces were without the services of Candace Parker and Riquna Williams, while the Sparks were missing Lexie Brown, Layshia Clarendon, Nia Clouden and Chiney Ogwumike, all of whom were out with injury or illness.
The Aces take a “break” for All-Star Weekend which is being held at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.