Aces Throttle Phoenix
I decided to take in an Aces game last night and boy, did I pick a good game to go to! In front of a celebrity studded, record setting crowd, the Aces, paced by Jackie Young’s 23 points, absolutely pummeled Phoenix 98-72. The Aces remained undefeated at home this season and set a new single game attendance record with 10,281 fans at the game.
Vegas improved it’s record to 18-2 on the season and stayed in first place for the Commissioner’s Cup.
The game was fairly close in the first quarter with the Aces leading 26-22 after one period. Playing without Candace Parker who was out with an ankle injury, Vegas started to heat up in the second quarter. Guards Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray led the second quarter surge, passing the ball around looking for the open shooter and making shots themselves.
The crowd at Michelob Ultra Arena gave a warm ovation to Phoenix starting center Brittney Griner at the start of the game but the Aces were determined not to let her get off and sent double teams at her whenever she got the ball in the post. Griner managed only 13 points for the game.
Vegas outscored the Mercury 26-12 in the second quarter and came out on fire in the third. With three minutes left in the third quarter, the Aces were up by 30 and the rout was on. Early in the fourth quarter Vegas head coach Becky Hammon, who will coach the West squad in this weekend’s WNBA All Star Game, pulled the starters to give them some well earned rest.
Four players scored in double figures for the Aces. In addition to Jackie Young’s 23 points, Chelsea Gray had 21 points and 11 assists, Kelsey Plum scored 17 points with five rebounds and four assists, and my girl A’ja Wilson tallied 20 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks.
Vegas now moves on to L.A. to play the Sparks tonight at 7pm, their last game before this weekend’s All Star break. A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray. and Jackie Young are all starters on the West squad and the game will be played right here in Vegas on Saturday at 5:30pm at Michelob Ultra Arena. Probably because the NBA Summer League is in town last night’s game had a bunch of NBA stars in the building including John Wall, Paul George, Bam Adebayo, and Donovan Mitchell. Floyd Mayweather was in the building as well.
The Aces will return to action after the All Star break on Thursday, July 20 with a game at Seattle.