LAS VEGAS (September 29, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces are headed back to the WNBA Finals for the 3rd time in 4 years thanks to a series-clinching, 64-61 victory over the Dallas Wings Friday evening. The close win, which featured 12 lead changes and 7 tied scores, gave Las Vegas a 3-0 sweep of the Wings, and ran the team’s postseason winning streak to 6 consecutive games. Four Aces scored in double figures—Chelsea Gray led with 15 points, A’ja Wilson had a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds and Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young added 11 points each. Arike Ogunbowale tallied a game-high 18 points for the Wings.
First Quarter Highlights (Dallas 18, Las Vegas 16)
A 6-0 run midway through the quarter put the Aces up 7, 15-8. They made their first 5 shots of the game, but closed the quarter missing 9 of their next 11. Dallas scored 10 of the final 11 points to take the lead after one. All five starters scored for Las Vegas, led by Wilson’s 5 while 3 Dallas players each scored 4 apiece to lead the Wings. Dallas outscored the Aces 9-3 in second chance points thanks to a 4-2 edge in offensive rebounds.
Second Quarter Highlights (Dallas 36, Las Vegas 31)
Dallas hit 5-straight to open the quarter, expanding its scoring run to 15-1, but back-to-back 3s helped Las Vegas pull to 23-22. The Aces regained the lead, 29-28, but the Wings closed the first half on an 8-2 run for a 5-point halftime lead. Ogunbowale scored 8 points, including a pair of 3s in the final 2 minutes of the half, while Plum scored 6 for the Aces. Both teams shot an identical 6 of 16 from the field, and hit 3 treys. The Wings outscored the Aces 3-0 at the line and outrebounded the Aces 12-5. Both had 6 turnovers, with the Aces getting 7 points and the Wings 2 off of those miscues.
Third Quarter Highlights (Dallas 51, Las Vegas 49)
An 11-2 run gave the Aces a 42-38 lead less than 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter. Dallas scored the next 5 points for a 43-42 advantage. From there the teams swapped buckets and Dallas ended the quarter with the final basket and a 2-point lead at the end of the 3rd. Gray scored a high of 7 for the Aces and Veronica Burton had 5 for the Wings. The Aces shot 40% from the field and the Wings made 30% of their field goal attempts. The Wings outscored the Aces 10-6 in the paint.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 64, Dallas 61)
Gray tied the game at 51-all, but the Wings responded with a 10-2 run to go up 8 (61-53) with 4:59 to play. In what was a game of runs, the Aces had the final say and closed by scoring the last 11 points of the contest. In the final 4:59, the Aces shot 3 of 6 from the field and 4 of 6 from the line, while Dallas missed all 10 of its field goal attempts, including a desperation 3 with o.4 seconds on the clock, and both of its tries from the charity stripe. In the final period, the Aces connected on 41.7% of their shots from the field and held Dallas to just 21.1%. The Aces got 5 points apiece from Wilson and Young and Dallas had 2 players who scored 4 each.
It has been 1,295 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 496 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States.
Dallas outrebounded Las Vegas 11-5 on the offensive glass leading to a 18-8 advantage in 2nd chance points, and a 30-24 edge in points in the paint.
The Aces connected on 40.7% of their field goal attempts and 31.6% from distance, while the Wings were held to 31.6% overall and to 21.4% beyond the arc.
Las Vegas made 10 of 14 free throws; Dallas went 7 for 15.
Las Vegas turned the ball over 20 times, the second-most miscues by the team in 2023, from which it gave up 15 points. The Aces scored just 2 points off the Wings 13 turnovers.
Plum dished out a game-high 7 assists.
Teaira McCowan produced a double-double of 10 points and 15 boards for Dallas.
Wilson’s double-double (13 points, 13 rebounds) is her 15th career playoff double-double, which ranks her tied for 7th in WNBA playoff history.
Chelsea Gray scored 13 points for her 31st (of 44) overall playoff game scoring in double figures.
Plum (11 points) has scored in double figures in 22 of 25 playoff games.
The Aces await the winner of the New York-Connecticut semifinal series which the Liberty now leads two-games-to-one following their 92-81 victory Friday. Las Vegas will host Games 1 (October 8) and 2 (October 11), and if necessary, Game 5 (October 20) of the WNBA Finals