CHICAGO (August 24, 2023)—Las Vegas trailed Chicago by as many as 16 points Thursday evening, but a 33-point third quarter helped the Aces erase that deficit en route to their WNBA-record 30th win of the season. The 94-87 victory also helped Las Vegas clinch at least a top 2 seed in the 2023 playoffs. The Aces (30-4) lead second place New York (26-7) by 3.5 games with 6 to play in the race for the number one seed. Kelsey Plum celebrated her birthday by scoring 23 points, 14 of which came in the pivotal third period. A’ja Wilson (18 points, 10 rebounds), Jackie Young (24 points, 10 rebounds) and Chelsea Gray (19 points, 10 assists) each added double-doubles in the victory.
First Quarter Highlights (Chicago 24, Las Vegas 17)
Chicago led 9-8 midway through the period, when they rattled off 7-straight points to go up 16-8. The Sky extended their advantage to as many as 9 in the quarter. Chicago made 9 of 15 shots from the field in the period (.600), while the Aces made 7 of 18 (.389). The Sky also drained 3 of 4 from 3-point range, while Las Vegas went 1 for 8. Seven different members of the Sky scored in the period. Chelsea Gray led all scorers with 8, including the final 6 of the frame for Las Vegas.
Second Quarter Highlights (Chicago 50, Las Vegas 37)
Chicago scored the first 4 points of the second quarter to push its lead into double digits, 28-17, and eventually led by as many as 16 in the period. The Sky made 50 percent of their shots from the floor (11-22 FGs), while Las Vegas connected on 36.8 percent of theirs (7-19 FGs). Marina Mabrey led all scorers with 10 points in the period on 4 of 5 shooting including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. Wilson made 4 of 6 shots to lead the Aces with 8 points.
Third Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 70, Chicago 68)
Las Vegas trailed by 14 with 7:11 on the clock, and by 10 with 5:23 to go, but then scored 16 of the next 19 points over a 3-plus minute stretch to take the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter. Plum nearly outscored the Sky by herself in the period, pouring in 14 points on 4 of 6 shooting from 3-point range, and 2 for 2 from the charity stripe. Las Vegas made 65 percent of their field goal attempts (13-20 FGs), while Chicago netted 35.0 percent of theirs (7-20 FGs). The Aces also drained 5 of 9 shots from distance.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 94, Chicago 87)
The first minute and change of the period saw 2 ties and 3 lead changes. The Sky went up by 4 on 2 occasions, the last time coming with 7:13 on the clock, but Las Vegas scored 7-straight points to take a lead they would never relinquish. The Aces made 9 of 9 free throws in the period, 6 of which came over the final 1:26 of play to secure the win. Las Vegas forced Chicago to miss 9 of its 11 3-pointers in the period. Chelsea Gray led all scorers with 9 points in the quarter.
It has been 1,259 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 494 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States.
Las Vegas made 58.8 percent of its field goal attempts (20-34 FGs) in the 2nd half, while Chicago made 37.5 percent of its shots (15-40 FGs). The Aces also connected on 6 of 11 3-pointers, and 11 of 11 free throws, while the Sky were 4 for 16 from distance and 3 for 5 from the charity stripe.
The Aces went 18 for 18 from the free throw line while Chicago made 8 of 10.
The Sky outscored the Aces 18-5 in second chance points.
Las Vegas’ 30 wins are the most by any WNBA team ever in a season.
The Aces had 3 players record double-doubles on the night. Only 1 team in WNBA history has ever had 4 double-doubles in the same game (Los Angeles, August 18, 2017, Nneka Ogwumike, Odyssey Sims, Chelsea Gray and Candace Parker)
A’ja Wilson recorded her 19th double-double of the season (18 points, 10 rebounds) which is the 2nd most in the WNBA this season (Alyssa Thomas, 24, Connecticut Sun).
Chelsea Gray recorded her 9th double-double of the season (19 points, 10 assists) and Jackie Young recorded her 1st double-double of the year (24 points, career-high tying 10 rebounds).
Jackie Young scored the 2,000th points of her career, and now has 2019.
The Aces remain on the road, traveling to Washington to celebrate their 2022 WNBA Championship season at the White House on Friday, Aug. 25, prior to a Saturday, Aug. 26, game against the Mystics. Tip is slated for 4 pm PT on the Silver Stats Sports & Entertainment Network.