PHOENIX, AZ (May 6, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces scored the first 5 points of the game Friday evening, and never trailed ballooning their lead to as many as 28 in a, 106-88, road victory over Phoenix. It was the first victory for new head coach Becky Hammon who became the team’s floor general on December 31, 2021.
First Quarter (Las Vegas 31, Phoenix 17)
Las Vegas scored the first 5 points of the game, and led 22-9 with 3:36 to go in the period. The Aces shot 65.0 percent in the period including 4 of 8 from three-point range, while the Mercury made 36.8 percent of their shots.
Second Quarter (Las Vegas 54, Phoenix 32)
The Aces led by at least 15 throughout the entire quarter. A’ja Wilson had a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double in the first half.
Third Quarter (Las Vegas 86, Phoenix 63)
Las Vegas led by at least 16 throughout the entire quarter. Kelsey Plum scored 12 points on 4 of 7 shooting including 3 of 3 from three-point range.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 106, Phoenix 88)
The Mercury ever got closer than 18 throughout the quarter. Phoenix’s Shey Peddy scored 13 points on 5 of 6 shooting in the frame.
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Las Vegas made 58.2 percent of its shots from the field, while Phoenix made 45.2
The Aces outrebounded the Mercury 38-26.
Las Vegas outscored Phoenix 15-6 in fast break points.
The Aces held last year’s coring champ, Tina Charles, to 15 points on 5 of 16 shooting from the field, and the WNBA’s career scoring leader, Diana Taurasi, to 9 points on 3 for 11 shooting.
The Mercury forced 16 Aces turnovers, flipping them into 25 points, while Las Vegas caused Phoenix to commit 110 miscues, turning them into 8 points.
Kiah Stokes was not with the Aces as she is still completing her overseas commitments.
Riquna Williams did not play (right foot)
Excluding the WNBA’s inaugural season of 1997, tonight’s game marked just the third time in league history that rookie coaches faced off against one another in their debut games—June 1, 200, Anne Donovan (IND) vs. Ron Rothstein (MIA) and May 15, 2010, Cheryl Reeve (MIN) vs. Nolan Richardson (TUL).
A’ja Wilson recorded her first double-double of the season (15 points, 11 rebounds), and the 38th of her career. That ranks 3rd on the Aces’ franchise list—Natalie Williams (Utah, 53), Margo Dydek (Utah, San Antonio, 41).
Chelsea Gray handed out her 1,000th career assist in the third quarter,
Las Vegas connected on 11 three pointers, which is tied for the most they have made in a game since moving to Sin City.
Kelsey Plum’s 5 made threes are tied for the most by a player since the franchise moved to Las Vegas.
The Aces return to Las Vegas for their home opener on Sunday, May 8 vs. Seattle. Tip on ESPN2 is slated for 7 pm PT.