BROOKLYN, NY (August 28, 2023)—New York (28-7) moved to within 1.5 games of Las Vegas (30-6) in the race for the top spot in the WNBA playoffs Monday, upending the Aces, 94-85, at Barclays Center. New York’s win also evened the season series between the teams at 2 games apiece. Should the Aces and Liberty finish the year tied atop the standings, the next tie-breaker is the record against teams that finish the year at .500 or above. There are still 4 teams currently below .500 who could reach that mark.
Sabrina Ionescu (25 points) and Breanna Stewart (20) each reached the 20-point plateau for the Liberty, while Jackie Young (24) and A’ja Wilson (23) did likewise for the Aces.
First Quarter Highlights (New York 22, Las Vegas 19)
Las Vegas scored the first 4 points, and 16 of the first 23 to take a 9-point lead with 3:59 to go in the quarter. From that point on, the Aces committed 4 turnovers and missed 4 of 5 shots while the Liberty went 5 of 7 from the floor as New York closed the stanza on a 15-3 run. Ionescu scored a high 0f 12 points in the quarter, while Young led the Aces with 8.
Second Quarter Highlights (New York 47, Las Vegas 35)
The Liberty led 27-26 with 6:26 on the clock, but extended their lead to double digits thanks to an 11-0 run. Las Vegas missed 5 shots during that stretch, while 5 different New York players dented the scoring column. Wilson led all scorers with 10 in the period, but she and Chelsea Gray (6 points) were the only 2 members of the Aces to score in the quarter. Las Vegas went 5 for 15 from the field and 0 for 5 from beyond the arc, while the Liberty made 10 of 17 shots and 3 of 6 from 3-point range
Third Quarter Highlights (New York 70, Las Vegas 58)
The Liberty lead vacillated between 12 and 19 the entire period. Both teams locked in defensively as the Aces made 7 of 18 shots from the field and New York made 7 of 19 shots. Gray led all scorers with 8 in the quarter.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (New York 94, Las Vegas 85)
New York led by as many as 17 in the 4th, and Las Vegas was able to slice the lead below double digits late in the quarter, but was unable to complete the comeback. The Aces made 12 of 21 shots in the period compared to 9 of 21 for the Liberty. Young made all 4 of her field goal attempts in the quarter including both 3-pointers, while Betnijah Laney’s 10 points paced New York.
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New York outrebounded Las Vegas 43-31 overall and 12-5 on the offensive end.
The Liberty made 34 of 75 (.453) shots from the floor, while the Aces made 31 of 69 (.449). New York also made 1 more 3-pointer than Las Vegas (10 for 33 compared to 9 for 23) and 2 more free throws (15 for 19 compared to 14 for 20).
New York outscored Las Vegas 44-36 in the paint.
Wilson went 10 for 16 from the field, while the rest of the Aces made 21 of 53 shots.
Gray and Kelsey Plum combined to go 2 for 10 from 3-point range.
Gray came up 1 assist short of her 10th point-assist double-double of the season (16 points, 9 assists).
Young scored 20 or more points for the 14th time this season (24 points). She also reached double figures for the 35th time in 36 games, tying Plum for the WNBA record for most double-digit games in a season. Stewart also tied that mark today.
Wilson scored 20 or more points for the 25th time this season (23 points), which is the most by any player in the WNBA this season, and the 2nd most by any player in a season in WNBA history (26, Diana Taurasi, 2006 and 2008).
The Aces return home for 3 of their final 4 regular season games beginning with a Thursday, August 31, tilt against the Washington Mystics. Tip at Michelob ULTRA Arena is slated for 7 pm PT.