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FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Liberty – Game 15 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (14-1) | New York Liberty (10-4)

 

In a battle between the WNBA’s two title favorites, the Las Vegas Aces emerged victorious over the New York Liberty, 98-81.

The Aces vs Liberty played at the Michelob ULTRA Arena on Thursday.

Aces vs Liberty A'ja Wilson
Photo Credit: Trisha Lacoste/Franchise Sports Media

All five of the Las Vegas Aces’ starters scored in double figures, led by Kelsey Plum’s 18 points (7-of-12 FGs, 1-for-5 3s) and a season-high eight assists.

Las Vegas’ current 13-game home winning streak is tied for the longest in franchise history.

We’re in June still. We’re not banking too much on this,” Aces head coach Becky Hammon said after the win. “Feels better than losing. At the end of the day, we have a lot of basketball left to be played.”

Las Vegas is also outscoring their opponents by 15.5 points on the year, the largest scoring differential through 15 games in WNBA history.

WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week, A’ja Wilson (11th time in her career), put up 16 points (6-of-9 FGs). Meanwhile, Candace Parker tied her season-high with 15 points (6-of-12 FGs, 3-for-4 3s), six rebounds, five assists, and two steals. 

It’s dangerous, in terms of the way we play and the way we can play in the halfcourt, in secondary and transition,” Parker said. “I think it’s great. We have people like (Kelsey) that run and cut. 32 assists on 40 field goals… that says a lot about us and the way we play.”

The Aces handled business against the Liberty 

Jackie Young also had 15 points (6-of-11 FGs, 3-for-5 3s), five rebounds, and six assists. In addition, Chelsea Gray added 14 points (6-of-10 FGs), six assists, and three steals.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

Aces vs Liberty Chelsea Grey
Photo Credit: Trisha Lacoste/Franchise Sports Media

For the New York Liberty, Breanna Stewart entered the game as the league’s second-leading scorer (22.6 points per game). However, Stewart was held to 16 points (6-of-15 FGs, 1-for-4 3s) and five rebounds.

Also, for the Liberty, Jonquel Jones only had 13 points (6-of-8 FGs), six rebounds, and two blocks. Courtney Vandersloot was held to 10 points (3-of-9 FGs), a season-low five assists, and a season-high six turnovers.

They are the team you can gauge yourself against. They have the best record in the league,” Jones said of the Aces. “Obviously, it hurts. We want to put our best foot forward. Ultimately we have the season to get better and learn from this.”

They were a well-oiled machine,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “We got to be more disruptive. There are areas we can look at where we can get better. Hopefully, they can’t shoot nearly 60 percent from the field.”

The end of the Aces vs Liberty’s first half. 

Plum was in her bag early as she got to the basket at will. Plum already had 11 points late in the first quarter, as Las Vegas got great looks offensively on nearly every trip down the floor.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty second half. 

Aces vs Liberty Jackie Young
Photo Credit: Trisha Lacoste/Franchise Sports Media

Parker buried her second 3-pointer of the game as the Aces had a 45-32 lead with 2:43 to play in the first half. They shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range.

It was just the third time this season that Parker made multiple 3s in a game, and it wasn’t even halftime yet.

Three minutes of focused defense triggered an 11-0 run for Las Vegas in the third quarter, who led by 15 with 6:52 to play. At this point, all five Aces were in double figures with around five minutes to play in the quarter.

Las Vegas outscored the Liberty 27-14 in the third.

The Aces shot 57.97 percent (40-of-69 FGs) from the field, recording the league’s second-best single-game shooting percentage so far this season (the Aces’ 58.46 percent shooting against the Chicago Sky on June 11 being the solo better performance). 

The Liberty only connected on 47.7 percent of their field goal attempts.

Next up, the Aces face the Connecticut Sun.

Las Vegas and Connecticut played twice earlier this month, with the teams splitting the series. The Aces took the first game on, 90-84, while the Sun got revenge for a 94-77 victory.

The final score of the Aces vs Liberty was 98-81, Aces.

The Aces will now take on the Connecticut Sun on Saturday, July 1st, at noon PST.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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