Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Recap: Aces vs Dream – Game 6 – 2024

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Las Vegas Aces (4-2)  |  Atlanta Dream (4-2)

 

It was the Aces vs Dream in Atlanta in the sixth game of the 2024 season. The back-to-back champions traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, to face off against the Dream in their final road game of the trip. After a back-and-forth game, the Dream took the lead late and won 78-74.

 

Aces vs Dream - Game 6 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The back-to-back WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces were on the road against the Atlanta Dream, continuing their road trip across the country.

Coming off a solid win in Minnesota, the Aces looked prime to start a winning streak, but a blown lead in the second half and some incredible shooting by the home team led to a disappointing 78-74 loss.

The Aces were led by superstar Aja Wilson, who finished with a monster 28 points and nine rebounds. Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum both had solid, yet inefficient, scoring games with 19 and 15 points, respectively. The rest of the team struggled, however, only combining for 12 points, and the trio of Plum, Wilson, and Young, while potent, could use some help.

Atlanta was led by Allisha Gray, who scored a stellar 24 points on an unbelievable night from behind the 3-point arc (6-7). She was flanked by Rhyne Howard, who had 16 points and a balanced scoring attack from the rest of the team. All night, Atlanta played physical, tough basketball, drawing fouls and making their free throws.

 

Aces vs Dream First Quarter:

 

Aces vs Dream - Game 6 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The game started slow, as both teams missed their first two shots; Cheyenne Parker-Tyus got the scoring going with a layup off a cut to the basket. A frustrated Aja Wilson missed another shot on the other end; Rhyne Howard nailed a mid-range jumper for the Dream.

The early offensive woes for Vegas continued as Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young each missed shots. Tina Charles made a long 3 to extend the Dream lead to 7-0. The flustered Aces finally got on the scoreboard, but it was only a Kelsey Plum technical free-throw. After both teams traded missed shots, Aja Wilson finally dropped in a shot from the mid-range off an assist from Kelsey Plum.

Scoring remained sparse for both teams for the rest of the quarter as the Aces flexed their half-court defense; players were missing relatively easy shots on each side, and the game’s rhythm was choppy. Finally, with just under 2 minutes to go in the quarter, Aja Wilson secured a defensive rebound and drove the length of the court for a driving layup. Then, as the Dream brought the ball up the court, Megan Gustofson made an excellent defensive play for a steal and passed the ball off to Wilson, who made another shot inside as the Aces took a 9-8 lead. After Aja Wilson and Crystal Dangerfield traded mid-range jump shots, the rough offensive quarter ended with the Aces holding a 1-point, 11-10 lead.

 

Aces vs Dream 2nd Quarter:

 

Aces vs Dream - Game 6 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The lid on the rim came off to start the second quarter as Kelsey Plum drove to the rim and drew contact, hitting a pair of free throws. Megan Gustafson got her scoring going with a deep three off a pass from Plum. Crystal Dangerfield responded with a long 3 to keep Atlanta within striking distance. Kelsey Plum then hit two back-to-back tough shots from inside the arc to extend the Aces lead to 20-13 and forced an Atlanta timeout.

Out of the timeout, The Aces played excellent defense for a couple of possessions, and Jackie Young hit an absurd 4-point play to keep the momentum going. Tina Charles finally steadied the ship for Atlanta with a shot from midrange.  A couple of minutes later, Rhyne Howard went on a personal 6-0 run to pull the Dream within 3, and Coach Becky Hammon called timeout with the score at 26-23.

Aja Wilson scored out of the timeout, and then rookie Kate Martin bodied her way to the rim and drew a couple of free throws, but Atlanta was resilient as Alisha Gray hit a long three-ball to end the scoring for the half. The Aces entered the locker room with a six-point 34-28 lead.

 

Aces vs Dream 3rd Quarter:

 

Aces vs Dream - Game 6 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Kelsey Plum had an excellent start to the second half, first drilling a long three off a great pass from Jackie Young, then forcing a turnover with a nice steal off Tina Charles and a great pass to the streaking Aja Wilson down the court to extend Vegas’s lead to 39-28. Allisha Gray, who seemed to answer every punch that the Aces threw at the home team, drilled a long 3 in response.

It was at this point in the game that the two teams started to get chippy, as there is no love lost between the Aces and the Dream. The refs seemed to notice the increased physicality leading to 4 straight Atlanta free throws that cut into Vegas’s lead. The refs seemed content to send players to the line to regain control of the game, as the rest of the quarter sometimes felt like a free-throw contest. After a long Allisha Gray 3 cut the Vegas lead to 1, Coach Hammon called timeout.

Out of the time out, the Aces drew up a play to get Aja Wilson the ball in the mid-range, but Ariel Powers came in and blocked Wilson, and in transition, Allisha Gray hit yet another long-range 3 to give the Dream a 47-45 lead over the Aces. Vegas struck back with Alysha Clark drawing contact on the way to the rim and hitting a couple of free throws to tie the game. The teams traded baskets and ended the third quarter tied 53-53. If you want to understand why the Aces came up short in this game, it happened in the third quarter.

Atlanta used physicality to bait the Aces into dumb fouls and got back into the game on the free-throw line, causing Vegas to lose their lead.

 

Aces vs Dream 4th Quarter:

 

Aces vs Dream - Game 6 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Kelsey Plum again came to the rescue as she started the fourth with back-to-back baskets to help the Aces retake the lead 58-55. Allisha Gray, however, kept up her insane shooting night with a near 30 foot 3 to keep the Dream within 1. After free throws by Alysha Clark for Vegas and Parker for Atlanta, Alysha Clark hit another tough shot from long distance to give the Dream a 3-point lead, 65-62. Vegas tried to put away this feisty Atlanta team all night, and Atlanta responded by scorching the nets from 3. It was a perfect recipe, and Atlanta would never relinquish the lead again.

Jackie Young and Aja Wilson drew contact for two free throws each, but Rhyne Howard got questionable calls on back-to-back drives to the rim, and Vegas seemed frustrated with the officiating. Kelsey Plum and Aja Wilson had decent looks to keep Vegas in the game but ultimately came up short. The Aces looked fatigued, and at the end of a long road trip, a team playing on their home floor, shooting as well as Alysha Clark did, was the perfect recipe for the Aces to drop a tough game. As the buzzer sounded, the Aces lost 78-74.

It was a frustrating game and a stark reminder that being the back-to-back champs creates a target on your back. Teams will take their best shot at you, and if you aren’t ready, you’ll lose some games you feel like you shouldn’t. This is especially true on the road—credit to Alysha Clark and the Dream for taking advantage of the situation and winning a hard-fought game. The tired Aces have one more road game in Dallas before returning home. Notably, it is the first game in the Commissioner’s Cup, which should help motivate the team.

 

The Las Vegas Aces will take on the Dallas Wings on the road in Texas on Wednesday, June 5th. Tip-off is at 5:00 pm. Thank you for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

– Jason Kelly – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Jason on all social media: @jasonkredline

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