LAS VEGAS (July 1, 2023)—The Aces (15-1) reeled off 17 unanswered points to start the second half and ran away with the 102-84 victory over the Connecticut Sun (12-5) on Saturday afternoon at Michelob ULTRA Arena. Led by 25 points from Kelsey Plum, all five Aces starters scored in double figures. A’ja Wilson picked up the 63rd double-double of her career with 23 points and 13 boards, Candace Parker scored 15 and dished out 8 dimes, and Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young chipped in 11 points apiece. The Sun were led by DeWanna Bonner’s 19 points and Alyssa Thomas’ 12 points and 11 assists.
First Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 30, Connecticut 22)
The Aces and Sun were tied at 15, when a Wilson putback game Las Vegas a lead it would never relinquish. The Aces closed out the quarter on a 9-3 run. Las Vegas shot 57.1% (12-21 FGs) from the field, outrebounded Connecticut 14-8 and received 10 points apiece from Parker and Wilson. Connecticut, which connected on 45% (9-20 FGs) of its field goal attempts, was led by 8 points from Bonner. The Aces outscored the Sun 24-14 points in the paint in the first 10 minutes of play.
Second Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 59, Connecticut 48)
The Aces went up by double figures 6 times in the period, but each time Connecticut managed to cut it back to single digits until a Wilson turnaround jumper with 5 seconds on the clock put the Aces up by 11 at the break. The Aces shot 71.4% (10-14 FGs) from the field and were a perfect 8 of 8 from the line, while Connecticut made 55% (11-20 FGs) from the floor, 66.7% (4-6 3pt FGs) from afar and did not go to the line. Gray scored 8 points and Parker had 7, while Wilson dished out 4 of the Aces 8 assists in the quarter. Bonner added 9 to her total for the Sun.
Third Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 84, Connecticut 63)
Including the final 2 from Wilson in the first half, the Aces strung together 19 unanswered points, bookended by a Gray free throw following a Sun technical foul at 4:36 in the third quarter, to blow the game wide open 76-48. Over the first 4 minutes of the 3rd stanza, the Aces shot 6 of 8 from the field, including a pair of 3s, and 3 of 3 from the line, while its defense forced the Sun into 0 of 5 from the field and 5 turnovers. The Sun outscored the Aces 15-8 to bring the quarter to an 84-63 close. Plum and Wilson notched 9 points each, while Olivia Nelson-Ododa was the quarter’s leading Sun scorer with 4.
Fourth Quarter Highlights (Las Vegas 102, Connecticut 84)
Las Vegas hit the century mark on a Kierstan Bell 3-pointer at 4:29, giving the Aces their largest lead of the game (+29, 100-71). Bell and Plum scored 6 points for the Aces and DiJonai Carrington had 6 for the Sun.
It has been 1,205 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered. In 2022, three officers were federally charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and civil rights violations. One of the officers later pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, marking the first conviction in the case.
The ACLU is currently tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States.
The Aces, who connected on 62.9% (22-35 FGs) of its shots in the first half, finished the game shooting an even 50% (36-72 FGs) from the field.
Only twice this year have teams shot better than 50% against the Sun this year—Atlanta (.514) on June 15 and the Aces (.508) June 6, 2023.
Both teams were scoring a rare 40+ points heading into the game, and the Aces won that battle after outscoring the Sun 52-44 in the paint.
The Connecticut bench outscored the Las Vegas reserves 32-17.
Wilson recorded the 64th double-double of her career (23 points, 13 rebounds)
The Aces have scored 90+ points in all but 3 games, including 3 times with 100 or more.
Parker tied her season high with 15 points (2 times, last vs. New York on June 29).
Plum shot a perfect 4 of 4 from 3-point range, her first perfect 3-point shooting game since Aug. 13, 2019, and the first time she has not missed from beyond the arc in her career when attempting more than 2 (she was 2 of 2 once and 7 times was 1 of 1)
The Aces current 14-game home winning streak is the longest in franchise history. The streak of 14-straight home wins has been accomplished 9 times in WNBA history, and the record is 28 by the Sparks in 2000-02.
The Aces are averaging a league-high 93.7 points per game, which would be the highest scoring average in franchise history should they maintain it. Only the 2010 (93.9 ppg.) Phoenix Mercury have averaged more than that in a season.
Las Vegas is now outscoring opponents by 15.6 points on the year which is the largest scoring differential through 16 games in WNBA history.
The Las Vegas Aces play four-straight Commissioner’s Cup contests, starting with a July 5 home game against the Dallas Wings (7-8) at Michelob ULTRA Arena. The game, the first of 4 for these teams in 2023, tips at 7 pm PT, and will be broadcast on Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network and across the radio waves on ESPN Las Vegas. It’s also the first of back-to-back games against Dallas, as the Aces will travel to Texas for a July 7 clash against the Wings.
The Aces own a 36-34 edge over the Wings in franchise history, and are 10-1 in the last 11 games.
The Wings are led by Arike Ogunbowale, who is averaging 22.4 ppg and 4.3 apg. Satou Sabally adds 18.6 ppg and 10.1 rppg, and Natasha Howard is contributing 16.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg.
As a team, Dallas is averaging 84.0 ppg (4th in the league), a league-high 38.7 rpg, 17.8 apg (10th), 7.3 spg (4th) and 4.5 bpg (7th); while shooting 41.1% (11th) from the field, 29.2% (12th) from 3-point range and 84.7% (1st) from the line.