LAS VEGAS (June 15, 2023)—The Las Vegas Aces (9-1) fought through three quarters before pulling away from the Seattle Storm (2-7) in a 96-63 victory Thursday night at Michelob ULTRA Arena. Jackie Young scored a game-high 28 points (12-18 FGs, 4-7 3PT FGs), A’ja Wilson finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds for the 60th double-double of her career, Kelsey Plum added 19 points and Kierstan Bell scored 12 to tie her career high.
Ezi Magbegor posted team-bests of 23 points and 11 boards for Seattle.
First Quarter (Las Vegas 17, Seattle 17)
The Aces led by as many as 5 early, but for the majority of the quarter there was even less separation between the teams. Turnovers plagued the home side during the first, and Seattle took advantage, scoring 7 points off the Aces’ 7 miscues. Wilson and Jewell Loyd, who finished with 17 points, each had 6 in the frame.
Second Quarter (Las Vegas 47, Seattle 37)
The second quarter saw six lead changes and one tie, however, with Seattle holding a slim 35-33 edge, Plum netted a 3 to put the Aces up for good. That bucket sparked a 14-2 quarter-ending run that was bookended by a Plum driving layup that gave Las Vegas its first double-digit lead of the game, 47-37, with 3.9 seconds on the clock. The Aces committed just 2 turnovers and dished out 9 assists after passing off for 4 dimes in the first 10 minutes of play. Young topped the second quarter scoring with 9 points and Plum had 7.
Third Quarter (Las Vegas 67, Seattle 52)
Seattle cut the gap to as few as 8 points in the third and trailed 59-51 with 3:39 to play. However, the Las Vegas defense held the Storm to 0-of-4 from the field and forced 1 turnover over the next 5 possessions, while its offense wrapped the quarter on an 8-1 spurt for a 15-point lead. at the break. Young hit 5-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-4 from afar, for 12 points.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 96, Seattle 63)
Bell, who hit on 5-of-7 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point, scored all 12 of her points in the final stanza.
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The Aces, who entered the game leading the league in scoring (91.3 ppg.), steals (9.0 spg.) and field goal percentage (49.3%), surpassed those season averages after capping the night with 96 points, 10 steals and 55.7% shooting.
The Aces netted 46.2% of its shots beyond the arc and held Seattle to 37.5% shooting from the field and 21.7% from 3-point.
Las Vegas outrebounded Seattle 37-28.
Las Vegas outscored Seattle 50-30 in the paint and 10-4 on second chance points, while Seattle held a 17-14 advantage in points in transition.
The Aces bench outscored Seattle’s 20-1.
The Aces had 25 assists on 39 field goals, and were led by 9 from Chelsea Gray and 6 from Candace Parker. The 25 ties a season-high for the team.
Young’s 28 points tonight are the second-most by a player who did not attempt a free throw in Aces franchise history. Becky Hammon owns the top spot with 30 points versus Phoenix on Aug. 22, 2010.
Wilson’s double-double was the 60th of her career, which is tied for 18th for all-time WNBA career double-doubles.
The Aces have scored at least 90 points in 8 of their 10 games this season.
The Aces shot 55.7 percent from the field, which is tied for the second highest field goal percentage in a WNBA game this season.
Riquna Williams did not dress for the Aces (lower back).
The Aces, who play 6 of their next 7 games at home, face Minnesota (2-7) on Sunday, June 18. The game is scheduled for a 6 pm PT tip, and is being broadcast on Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network and NBA TV. ESPN Las Vegas 100.9 FM and 1100 AM also will carry the game, with the pregame show set to begin at 5:30 pm PT.
The Aces prevailed 94-73 in their first contest against Minnesota this season on May 28. Jackie Young scored a game-high 23 points, A’ja Wilson had 21 after hitting 9-of-10 from the line, Chelsea Gray notched a double-double with 19 points and 10 assists, and Alysha Clark and Kelsey Plum added 11 points apiece. Napheesa Collier scored a team-high 21 points and Jessica Shepard grabbed a game-high 15 caroms for the Lynx.
The Lynx play the Sparks on Friday night before traveling to Las Vegas for the Sunday clash.