LOS ANGELES, CA (May 25, 2022)—The Las Vegas Aces (2-0, 2-0) used an 18-4 run in the third quarter to turn a 10-point deficit into a 4-point advantage, Thursday evening, giving them a lead they would never relinquish in a 94-85 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks (1-1, 1-1). Jackie Young scored a career-high 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field, A’ja Wilson collected her 56thcareer double-double with 19 points and 13 rebounds, Chelsea Gray added 16 points and eight assists, and Candace Parker finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. The Sparks were led by 19 points from Chiney Ogwumike and 15 from Lexie Brown.
First Quarter (Los Angeles 25, Las Vegas 15)
Despite getting on the board first, the Aces found themselves trailing early as the Sparks responded and steadily built a 12-point lead at 3:19 after Karlie Samuelson sank a pair from the line. LA continued to hold a double-digit lead through the end of the first quarter. The Aces, which received four points apiece from Wilson and Young, were held to just 35.3% (6-17 FGs) shooting, including 16.7% (1-6 3pt FGs) from 3-point, while the Sparks made 50% (9-18 FGs) of its shots in the quarter. The Aces turned the ball over 5 times in the period. Further, Brown nailed all four of her field goal attempts, including 2 from 3-point, and had 10 points after the first 10 minutes.
Second Quarter (Los Angeles 46, Los Vegas 36)
The Aces began to close the gap, cutting the deficit to 4 points, 38-34, with 2:13 before halftime, but at the midway point the Sparks were again up by double figures, 46-36. Young, who scored 9 points on 4-of-7 from the field in the second quarter, had 13 points by halftime.
Third Quarter (Las Vegas 67, Los Angeles 63)
In the deciding third quarter, won by the Aces 17-31, the Aces patiently chipped away at LA’s edge and with 3:31 on the clock, a driving layup by Wilson had Las Vegas within 2 points, 59-57. The Sparks called a timeout, but the Aces responded with a 10-4 run, receiving four points apiece from Gray and Young, to close the quarter up 67-63. By the end of the period, Wilson had her 56th-straight double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) after recording 8 points and 6 boards in the quarter.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 94, Los Angeles 85)
The Aces’ lead vacillated between 4 and 10 the entire period. Young scored 11 points in the quarter making all of her shots (3-3 3pt FG and 2-2 FTs).
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After hitting just 39.4% (13-33 FGs) of its field goal attempts in the first half, the Aces shot 75.0% (12-16 FGs) in the third quarter. The Aces also notched 13 rebounds in the third after grabbing just 15 caroms in the first half.
LA’s Brown entered the game with a career shooting percentage of 38.9%. She opened the game with a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and finished making 6-of-9 shots.
The Aces made 52.5% of their shots on the night compared to 42.1% for the Sparks.
Las Vegas committed 20 turnovers which the Sparks turned into 22 points. That is the most turnovers the Aces have had in a game during the Becky Hammon era.
The Aces outrebounded Los Angeles 37-30.
A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 26th consecutive regular season game (19 points), which is the third-longest active streak in the WNBA.
Kelsey Plum has scored in double figures in 11-straight regular season games (21.6 ppg. during the stretch).
A’ja Wilson recorded the 56th double-double of her career, which is the most in franchise history and second-most in the league since she entered the WNBA in 2018 (19 points, 13 rebounds).
Natalie Nakase served as the acting head coach.
Riquna Williams did not dress for the Aces (lower back).
Two days from now, the Aces and Sparks will meet again, this time in Las Vegas. The Saturday, May 27 contest will be broadcast on Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network. Tip is at 6:00 pm PT, but fans are encouraged to arrive early, as prior to the game, the Aces will receive their 2022 WNBA Championship rings, and unveil their Championship Banner in the rafters of Michelob ULTRA Arena.