LAS VEGAS (August 31, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces (31-6) got back to their winning ways and upped their WNBA record for wins in a season to 31 with an 84-75 defeat of the Washington Mystics (17-19). A’ja Wilson powered the Aces with 26 points and 11 rebounds, Chelsea Gray poured in 21, Kelsey Plum had 12 points and 10 assists, while Alysha Clark chipped in 11 points. Elena Delle Donne, who had 3 points at halftime, finished as Washington’s leading scorer with 17.
The victory moves Las Vegas 2.0 games ahead of the New York Liberty (28-7) in the race for the top spot in the 2023 WNBA Playoffs. The Aces’ magic number for clinching the one seed is 3—any combination of 3 Las Vegas wins or Liberty losses puts the Aces on top.
First Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 24, Washington 14)
The Aces opened up a 15-7 lead over the game’s first 5:19 by holding the Mystics to an icy 2 of 8 from the field, while connecting on 6 of 10 of their shots, including 2 of 3 from distance. Wilson, who finished the quarter with 14 points, scored 9 of the Aces first 15. Las Vegas shot 10 of 18 (.556) from the field and held the Mystics to 4 of 15 (.267) of their field goal attempts. The Aces outscored the visitors 10-2 in the paint.
Second Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 40, Washington 30)
Gray scored 7 points over the first 5:09 of the second frame to help push the Aces lead to 34-21. Washington responded with a 7-1 spurt, cutting the deficit to single digits, 35-28. A 3-pointer from Wilson at 2:34 put the Aces back in front by 10 and the home side maintained its double-digit lead through the remainder of the half. Gray’s 7 points led all scorers in the period. The Mystics hit 6 of 19 (.316) from the field, but failed to score on any of their 6 attempts from 3-point range. The Aces went 6 of 16 (.375) overall and 3 of 9 (.333) from afar. Washington outscored Vegas 10-2 in the paint.
Third Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 64, Washington 59)
Plum made her first 2 field goal attempts of the night—back-to-back 3-pointers that put the Aces up 51-43 with 5:21 on the clock. However, Washington outscored Las Vegas 11-2 over nearly 3 minutes to reclaim the lead, 54-53, at 2:15. The Aces scored 7-straight in an 11-5 burst to close the third. Washington outscored Las Vegas 29-24 in the quarter as both teams shot better than 50% from the field, with Washington hitting 57.9% and Las Vegas netting 53.5% of its attempts. Plum and Jackie Young had 7 points apiece for the Aces, while Delle Donne scored 10 on 4 of 6 from the field for Washington.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 84, Washington 75)
The Mystics opened the final stanza on a 7-0 run. The Aces responded by scoring the game’s next 8 points and 12 of the next 14 to put them up 76-68 with 3:30 to go. The Mystics were unable to close the gap in the waning minutes. Gray’s 8 points led all scorers in the final quarter. The Aces made 5 of 13 (.385) of their field goal attempts and the Mystics were slightly better at 7 of 18 (.389).
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Las Vegas shot 46.8% from the field and 35.7% from distance, while holding Washington to 39.4% overall and 28.6% from 3-point range.
The Mystics outrebounded the Aces on the offensive glass 10-4, but only edged them 8-7 in second chance points.
Both teams committed 12 turnovers; Washington scored 14 and Las Vegas had 10 off the opposing team’s miscues.
The Las Vegas reserves outscored their counterparts 18-15.
Wilson’s double-double (26 points, 11 rebounds) was the 75th of her career and 21st of the season.
Her 75 double-doubles are tied for 11th among all-time WNBA career leaders; her 21 this year rank are the 6th most in a season in WNBA history, and are the 2nd most of any player this year (Alyssa Thomas, 26).
Plum’s double-double (12 points, 10 assists) was the 5th of her career and 2nd of the season.
Plum has now made a 3-pointer in 30-straight games and Young in 29-straight, which are the 1st- and 2nd-longest active streaks in the league.
Clark scored in double figures (11 points) for the 9th time this year.
Young was held to a season-low 7 points (3-11 FGs, 1-6 3FGs), which is just the 2nd time this season she’s scored in single digits.
Three games remain on the Aces 2023 regular season schedule, beginning with a Saturday, Sept. 2, home game against Seattle (6 pm PT on SSSEN and NBA TV) at Michelob ULTRA Arena. They will travel to Phoenix to take on the Mercury on Aug. 8 (7 pm PT on ION) before hosting the Mercury on Aug. 10 (12 pm PT on ESPN2) at T-Mobile Arena.