GAME RECAP: Kelsey Plum, JiSu Park Help Aces Close Out Regular Season With, 84-83, Win Over Phoenix

PHOENIX (September 19, 2021)—Kelsey Plum scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help the Aces erase an 8-point deficit, and JiSu Park came up with the block of the year, stuffing Brianna Turner’s layup attempt with under a second to go, as Las Vegas picked up an, 84-83, win over Phoenix in the final regular season game for both clubs.

The outcome of the game didn’t have any bearing on the standings as the Aces were already locked into the two seed, and the Mercury already clinched the fifth in the WNBA Playoffs. Las Vegas awaits the results of the First and Second Round Games slated for Thursday, September 23 and Sunday, September 26.

The best-three-out-of-five semifinals begins Tuesday, September 28.

KEY RUNS

First Quarter (Phoenix 27, Las Vegas 23)

Las Vegas scored the first 6 points of the game, but the Mercury countered with an 8-2 run to tie the score. It was still tied at 17, when Phoenix scored 6 straight to take their largest lead of the quarter. Skyler Diggins-Smith dropped in 11 points for Phoenix to lead all scorers, as both teams shot 50 percent or better from the field.

Second Quarter (Phoenix 47, Las Vegas 43)

The Mercury led by 4, 32-28, early in the quarter, and went on a 6-0 run to push their lead to double digits, 38-28. Las Vegas nibbled away at the lead, cutting it as close as three, 44-41. The Mercury made 10 of 19 shots from three-point range in the half, while Las Vegas outscored Phoenix 26-8 in the paint.

Third Quarter (Phoenix 68, Las Vegas 64)

The Aces took their first lead since the first 61-60, with 3:57 remaining in the period, but an 8-0 Phoenix run put the Mercury back on top. The Aces went 7 for 7 from the free throw line, while the Mercury didn’t attempt any.

Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 84, Phoenix 83)

The Aces were down by 8, 83-75, with 2:42 to go, but Las Vegas scored 9 straight points including 7 straight by Kelsey Plum to take the lead with 4.3 seconds remaining. JiSu Parkk came up with a two-handed block to seal the victory.

KEY STATS

It has been 555 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered.

The Mercury went 14 for 30 from three-point range while the Aces went 6 for 17.

The Aces made 14 of 15 free throws, while the Mercury went 7 for 10 (0 for 0 in the second half)).

Las Vegas outscored Phoenix 10-4 in second chance points.

GAME NOTES

Liz Cambage scored 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, handed out 1 assist and blocked 1 shot in 9:31 in her first game back after missing 5 games in the WNBA’s Health & Safety Protocols.

Riquna Williams scored in double figures for the 16th time this season (13 points) and the 116th time in her career. She finished the season averaging 10.5 points per game, which gives the Aces seven players who averaged 10.0 or more points per game on the year, which is the most in WNBA history for a team in a single season.

Kelsey Plum scored in double figures for the 20th time this season (23 points) and the 64th time in her career. It was also her 8th time scoring 20 or more points this year, and the 15th of her career.

Kelsey Plum finished the season averaging 14.8 points per game which is the second highest scoring average  for a player in WNBA history who played the entire year as a reserve (15.0, Chamique Holdsclaw, 2006, Los Angeles).

Dearica Hamby scored in double figures for the 17th time this season (12 points) and the 98th time in her career.

Jackie Young scored in double figures for the 21st time this season (10 points) and the 40th time in her career.

Chelsea Gray scored in double figures for the 19th time this season (12 points), and the 137th time in her career.

The Aces tied the franchise record for most wins in a season with 24 (2008, 24-10, ), and posted the second highest winning percentage (24-8, .750)in franchise history (18-4, .818 in 2020).

NEXT OPPONENT

The Aces will host Game1 and 2, and Game 5 if necessary, of the 2021 WNBA Semifinals beginning Tuesday, September 28.