LAS VEGAS, NV (August 17, 2022)—The Las Vegas Aces won game one of their best-two-out-of-three First Round Playoff series Wednesday evening with a 79-63 victory over visiting Phoenix. Kelsey Plum led all scorers with 22 points—the 5th time in the last 6 playoff games that she has scored 20 or more points.
First Quarter (Las Vegas 21, Phoenix 20)
The Aces trailed by as many as five early in the quarter, but took their first lead of the game, 19-18, on a Jackie Young three-pointer. Diamond DeShields scored 9 points on 4 of 8 shooting, while the Mercury held Las Vegas to 35.0 percent shooting from the field. Phoenix outscored the Ace 12-2 in the paint in the period. Las Vegas went 4 for 4 from the line, while the Mercury didn’t take any attempts from the charity stripe.
Second Quarter (Las Vegas 42, Phoenix 37)
Phoenix scored the first basket of the second, but Las Vegas scored the next 9 to go up by 8, 30-22. The Aces extended their lead to as any as 11, but the Mercury closed the half scoring 7 of the final 9. Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum each scored 7 points in the quarter as Las Vegas made 57.1 percent of its shots while Phoenix made 24.0 percent of its field goal attempts. The Mercury took 11 more shots than the Aces in the period, 25-14.
Third Quarter (Las Vegas 51, Phoenix 46)
The Aces’ lead vacillated between 5 and 8 throughout the entire quarter. The Mercury made 25.0 percent of their shots in the third, while Las Vegas connected on 17.6 percent.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 79, Phoenix 63)
Phoenix sliced the Aces advantage to one early in the period, and it was still just a two-point Las Vegas advantage when the Aces scored 7 straight to push the lead to nine. It was still an eight-point lead with 3:14 to go, but Las Vegas scored 13 of the next 16 points to put the game out of reach. The Aces made 61.5 percent of their shots in the quarter, while the Mercury connected on 28.6 percent of theirs. Chelsea Gray scored a game-high 9 in the stanza.
It has been 887 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered. Recently, four Louisville Metro Police Department officers were charged by the FBI with federal crimes in relation to her death.
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Las Vegas went 9 for 28 from three-point range, while the Mercury went 5 for 18.
The Aces committed 12 turnovers which the Mercury flipped into 5 points, while Phoenix had 10 miscues which Las Vegas turned into 11 points.
The Aces went 18 for 18 from the free throw line while Phoenix went 12 for 17.
The Aces outscored the Mercury 12-5 in fast break points.
The Mercury outscored Aces 32-18 in points in the paint.
Las Vegas made 40.6 percent of its field goal attempts, while the Mercury made 31.1 percent of theirs.
Phoenix’s bench outscored the Aces’ 21-8.
Kiah Stokes grabbed a career playoff-high tying 13 rebounds.
Phoenix’s 63 points are the third fewest the Aces have allowed in a postseason game (59 vs. Houston on August 16, 2022).
Las Vegas’ 16-point margin of victory is the fourth largest playoff margin in franchise history.
The Mercury’s 31.1 percent shooting was the third lowest allowed by the Aces in a postseason game (26.8, vs. Sacramento on August 19, 2001)
The Aces host the Phoenix Mercury in Game 2 of the First Round of the WNBA Playoffs at Michelob ULTRA Arena on Saturday, August 20. Tip is slated for 6 pm PT on ESPN2.