LAS VEGAS (July 5, 2023)—It took nearly 28 minutes to do so, but the Las Vegas Aces (16-1) erased a 14-point first-quarter deficit and earned a hard-fought 89-82 victory at home against the Dallas Wings (8-9) on Wednesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 10,177 fans at Michelob ULTRA Arena.
Jackie Young scored a team-high 28 points, A’ja Wilson notched a 22-point, 13 rebound double-double, Chelsea Gray scored 20 and passed out 6 dimes and Alysha Clark, who received her first starting nod of the season, scored 10. Clark was in the lineup in place of two-time All-Star Kelsey Plum, who was out with a non-COVID illness.
Natasha Howard chalked up a season-high 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Wings.
The Aces, who entered the game averaging just 12.4 turnovers per game and allowing 13.5 points off those miscues, gave up 17 points on 10 turnovers in the first half. They righted the ship at halftime and had just 3 turnovers for 2 Dallas points in the second half.
First Quarter Highlights (Dallas 26, Las Vegas 21)
Trailing 9-8 with 3:45 gone in the first quarter, the Wings scored 18 of the next 21 points to go up 14, 26-12. Las Vegas went 1 for 5 from the field during that stretch, going scoreless for nearly 3 minutes, and committed 3 turnovers, while Dallas connected on 6 straight shots to start the run. Gray broke the scoring drought with a jumper at 1:46 to spark a quarter-ending 9-0 run for Las Vegas. In all, the Wings scored 9 points off of 6 Aces miscues and outscored the Aces 16-8 in the paint in the period. Arike Ogunbowale led all scorers after 10 minutes of play with 9 points on 4 of 7 shooting from the field.
Second Quarter Highlights (Dallas 51, Las Vegas 42)
Dallas maintained its lead throughout the second period, during which neither team scored more than 5 points in succession. The Aces cut into the Wings’ lead to a point on a Young 3-pointer to pull to 32-31, but came no closer before the break. Dallas closed the half on a Howard 3-pointer and headed into the locker room up 9. Young was the Aces top scorer with 11 points and Howard connected on 6 of 7 field goals, including 2 of 3 from afar, to net 14 points in the quarter.
Third Quarter Highlights (Dallas 67, Las Vegas 65)
After Dallas scored the first 4 points of the second half, Young scored 7 in a 13-0 Aces run that drew Las Vegas even for the first time since the tip at 55-all. The Wings countered by reeling off 10-straight, and with 3:16 remaining in the quarter the visitors led 65-55. A strong defensive effort that forced the Wings into a pair of turnovers and 3 missed shots over the stanza’s remaining minutes translated into a 10-2 Aces run, and the home squad was within 2 points with 10 minutes to play. Young led the Aces with 11 points in the period, and the Aces coughed up the ball just 1 time for 2 points.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 89, Dallas 82)
With the Wings up 76-72, the Aces scored the next 11 points giving them a lead they would never relinquish. Clark’s 3-pointer with 5:34 remaining put the Aces up for good, giving them just their second lead of the game. The Aces, who were led by 8 points from Wilson, hit on 52.9% of its shots in the period, while holding the Wings to 30%.
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Wilson recorded the 65th double-double of her career (22 points, 13 rebounds)
Wilson has played in 115-straight games, which is the longest active streak in the W.
Las Vegas is currently on a 9-game winning streak which is the third-longest in franchise history.
The Aces current 15-game home winning streak is the longest in franchise history, and is the 8th longest streak in WNBA history. The league record is 28 straight home wins by the Los Angles Sparks from 2000-02.
Las Vegas has scored 90+ points in all but 4 games this season, and is averaging a league-high 93.4 points per game—the second-highest average in league history. Only the 2010 (93.9 ppg) Phoenix Mercury have averaged more in a season.
Las Vegas also is outscoring opponents by 15.1 points on the year, which is the largest scoring differential through 17 games in WNBA history.
Arike Ogunbowale, who was averaging a league second-best 22.1 ppg entering tonight’s contest, was held to 12 points (5-20 FGs). She went 4 for 7 from the field in the first quarter, and 2 for 13 over the final three stanzas..
Kelsey Plum (non-COVID illness) and Riquna Williams (lower back) did not play for the Aces.
Satou Sabally led the game after the first half, and did not return due to illness. The Wings were +16 with Sabally in the lineup.
The crowd of 10,177 was the third-highest attended game since the Aces moved to Las Vegas.
Date Opponent Attendance
Sept. 13, 2022 Connecticut * 10,211
May 27, 2023 Los Angeles 10,191
July 5, 2023 Dallas 10,177
Sept. 11, 2022 Connecticut * 10,135
The Aces and Wings travel to Texas, where they will meet again on July 7 (5 pm PT tip). The game will be nationally televised on ION and broadcast across the Las Vegas radio-waves on KRLV 98.9 FM and 1340 AM.
The Aces own a 37-34 all-time edge over the Wings and have won 11 of the past 12 meetings between the two clubs.
The last time they met in Texas, the Wings prevailed 82-80, which was the Aces’ last loss of the 2022 season. The Aces fell behind 24-17 after the first quarter and, despite a game-high 28 points from Gray, were unable fully close the gap. Also scoring in double figures for the Aces were Young (19 points), Plum (15) and Wilson (12). Teaira McCowan (21 points, 16 rebounds) led Dallas. Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally were listed as inactive in that game.