PHOENIX, AZ (September 8, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces moved another step closer to securing the No. 1 seed in the 2023 WNBA Playoffs Friday, as they upended the Phoenix Mercury, 94-73. A’ja Wilson led the way for Las Vegas with 30 points and 9 rebounds, while Chelsea Gray recorded her 10th point-assist double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 dimes. Sug Sutton recorded the first triple-double in Mercury history with 18 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds.
The Aces are now 33-6 on the year and lead the New York Liberty by one game with one game left to play. Las Vegas clinches the No. 1 seed with either an Aces win or a Liberty loss, and could also nab the top spot with a Minnesota Lynx win due to the WNBA tiebreaker procedure.
First Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 20, Phoenix 20)
Phoenix led 8-4 early on, but Las Vegas scored 10-straight to go up 6, 14-8 with 5:10 remaining. The Aces only scored 6 points the rest of the quarter, as the Mercury connected for 12 of the final 18 points of the period. Wilson and Moriah Jefferson scored 8 points apiece for the Aces and Mercury, respectively, to lead all scorers. The Aces made 9 of 19 shots compared to 7 of 21 for Phoenix, but the Mercury made 6 of 6 from the free throw line compared to 2-2 for Las Vegas.
Second Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 48, Phoenix 31)
It was a 27-25 Las Vegas lead with 6:50 before intermission, when the Aces scored 9-straight and 17 of the next 19 points to go up 17, 44-27. The Aces made 10 of 17 shots in the quarter, while Phoenix made 5 of 19. Las Vegas also made 6 of 7 free throws, and the Mercury were 1 for 1. Gray, Wilson and Jackie Young each scored 6 points to lead all scorers in the quarter.
Third Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 72, Phoenix 48)
The Mercury cut the Aces lead to 14 on 2 occasions, but a 7-0 Las Vegas run pushed the advantage back past 20, where it remained for the rest of the quarter. Las Vegas made 10 of 17 shots from the field, while Phoenix went 7 for 18. The Aces outscored the Mercury 16-8 in points in the paint in the period and 7-0 in fast break points. Wilson and the Mercury’s Sug Sutton each scored 10 points in the quarter to lead all scorers.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 94, Phoenix 73)
The Aces lead vacillated between 20 and 30 points throughout the period. Las Vegas made 9 of 17 shots from the field, while Phoenix went 7 for 17. The Mercury outscored the Aces from the free throw line going 9 for 9 to Las Vegas’ 1 for 1. Kelsey Plum’s 9 points led all scorers in the period.
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The Aces made 54.3 percent of their shots from the field, while the Mercury made 34.7 percent of theirs.
Las Vegas outscored Phoenix 50-34 in the paint and 20-2 on the fast break.
The Mercury outscored the Aces 14-6 in second chance points.
Gray recorded 12 assists in the game, passing Tamika Catchings and Danielle Robinson into 9th place on the WNBA’s career assists chart.
Gray recorded her 10th point-assist double-double of the season (14 points, 12 assists), which is tied for the second-most in a season in WNBA history. She now has 15 in her career which are tied for the 5th-most in WNBA history.
Wilson scored 30 or more points for 5th time the season (30 points), and the 12th time in her career, extending franchise records in both categories .
Sutton recorded the 1st triple-double in Phoenix Mercury history (18 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists)
The Aces return home for their regular season finale, Sunday, Sept. 10, against these same Phoenix Mercury. The game is being played at T-Mobile Arena and will be televised on ESPN2. Tip is slated for 12 pm PT.