Directed by Trisha LaCoste

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Liberty – Game 31 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (28-3) | New York Liberty (24-7)

 

The Las Vegas Aces redeemed themselves, getting their revenge on the New York Liberty, taking a 88-75 victory.

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

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media | Chelsea Gray
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The Las Vegas Aces received a massive contribution from Chelsea Gray in their 88-75 victory over the New York Liberty. Gray notched her second career triple-double with 22 points (10-of-22 FGs, 2-for-5 3s), a career-high 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, along with three steals.

Gray produced the first points-rebounds-assists triple-double of her career and in Aces’ franchise history. Margo Dydek had the only other triple-double for the franchise with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and ten blocked shots on June 7, 2001.

Gray also passed the franchise single-season assist record in this game with a total of 218 assists. Gray initially set the assist record in 2022 with 212.

Also in Las Vegas’ win, Kelsey Plum added 18 points (7-of-14 FGs, 4-for-7 3s), while Jackie Young totaled 16 points (3-of-6 FGs, 2-for-3 3s, 8-of-8 FTs), three rebounds, and four assists, and A’ja Wilson rebounded from a tough start to finish the game with 21 points (7-of-13 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs) and eight rebounds.

The Aces held Breanna Stewart, the league’s second-leading scorer entering the game with 23.3 points per game, to just 13 points (3-of-15 FGs, 1-for-7 3s, 6-of-7 FTs). Stewart was still able to make an impact with seven rebounds, four assists, and four blocks.

The Aces handled business against the Liberty 

Jonquel Jones, who produced double-doubles in nine of her past 11 regular season games, was held to eight points (3-of-5 FGs, 1-for-2 3s), eight rebounds, and two blocks. However, Jones was the only player for the Liberty in the positive for +/-.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

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

Sabrina Ionescu picked up the slack for New York with 22 points (7-of-16 FGs, 6-of-12 3s) and four rebounds, while Betnijah Laney had 17 points (7-of-11 FGs, 3-for-6 3s) and four assists.

New York jumped out to an 8-0 lead on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor, while the Aces went 0-of-3. The Liberty’s early advantage wouldn’t last long, as Plum sparked a 14-7 run. Plum and Gray were the lone scorers during the run, combining for all 14 points. 

Despite New York staying vigilant, Young netted a 3 with 3:04 on the clock to jump-start an 11-2 run, seven of which came from Young, to close the quarter up 25-20. 

During the spurt, Las Vegas held the Liberty to just 0-of-4 shooting from the floor. The Aces shot 50 percent from the field overall, compared to 35 percent by New York in the first quarter.

The Aces’ lead changed throughout much of the period. However, a late 8-0 run gave Las Vegas their first double-digit lead of the game, 49-38, with 1:12 remaining before the half. 

The end of the Aces vs Liberty first half. 

The Aces outshot the Liberty 45 percent to 35.3 percent from the field in the second quarter and scored eight points on four Liberty turnovers while giving up zero points on their lone miscue.

The start of the Aces vs Liberty second half. 

Aces vs Liberty | Franchise Sports Media | Alysha Clark
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Strong defensive efforts on both sides of the court kept the scoring low. However, the Aces’ lead stayed steady at 56-42 with 7:27 left in the third quarter. Yet, Ionescu hit back-to-back 3s in a span of just 46 seconds, slashing the lead to 56-48. 

A barrage of 3-pointers by the Liberty, who hit 6-of-14 (42.9 percent) in the third period, helped them outscore the Aces 24-15 as Las Vegas’ lead narrowed to 68-64.

In the fourth quarter, the Liberty got as close as five points, 75-70, after they hit their only 3s of the final period. From there, Las Vegas cranked up their defense and outscored New York 13-5 over the final five minutes of play for the win. 

The Aces, who outscored the Liberty 20-11 in the final frame, hit 8-of-16 from the field, while New York made 4-of-9 of their field goal attempts and committed eight turnovers.

The final score of the Aces vs Liberty was 88-75 Aces.

The Aces will now take on the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, August 19th, at 12:00 PM PST.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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