Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Mercury – Game 39 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (33-6) | Phoenix Mercury (9-30)


The Las Vegas Aces moved another step closer to securing the number one seed in the 2023 WNBA Playoffs as they defeated the Phoenix Mercury, 94-73.

The Aces vs Mercury played at the Footprint Center on Friday.

Aces vs Mercury | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ashley Kate Frese- NBA Photos

The Las Vegas Aces now lead the New York Liberty by one game with one game left to play. Las Vegas will clinch the number one seed by winning their last game or a Liberty loss. They could also take the top spot with a Minnesota Lynx win due to the WNBA tiebreaker procedure.

WNBA Western Conference Player of the Month A’ja Wilson led the way for the Aces with 30 points (13-of-17 FGs, 4-of-5 FTs), nine rebounds, two steals, and three blocks.

Also for the Aces, Chelsea Gray recorded her 10th point-assist double-double of the season with 14 points (6-of-10 FGs) and 12 assists, while Kelsey Plum added 18 points (5-of-15 FGs, 2-of-8 3s, 6-of-6 FTs) and five assists, and Jackie Young had 17 points (8-of-12 FGs) and five rebounds.

Gray passed Tamika Catchings and Danielle Robinson into ninth place on the WNBA’s career assists chart.

The Aces handled business against the Mercury

Gray also has the second-most point-assist double-doubles in a season in WNBA history. She now has 15 in her career, which is tied for the fifth-most in WNBA history.

It was the start of the Aces vs Mercury first half. 

Aces vs Mercury | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ashley Kate Frese- NBA Photos

Sug Sutton recorded the first triple-double in Phoenix Mercury history with 18 points (6-of-18 FGs, 2-of-4 3s), 11 assists and 11 rebounds.

In addition, Megan Gustafson contributed 14 points (6-of-10 FGs) and five rebounds. Moriah Jefferson put up 11 points (3-of-11 FGs, 1-of-4 3s) and four rebounds, and Brittney Griner had 10 points (5-of-13 FGs).

Phoenix led 8-4 early on; however, Las Vegas scored ten straight points to go up six, 14-8. The Aces then began to falter, as they only scored six points the rest of the quarter. Meanwhile, the Mercury connected for 12 of the final 18 points of the period. 

The Aces made 9-of-19 (47.4 percent) of their shots in the first quarter compared to 7-of-21 (33.3 percent) for Phoenix, but the Mercury cashed in from the charity stripe, connecting on 6-of-6 from the free throw line compared to 2-of-2 for Las Vegas.

Las Vegas had a 27-25 lead with 6:50 left before halftime when the Aces scored nine straight and 17 of the following 19 points to go up 44-27. Las Vegas made 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) shots in the quarter while locking down Phoenix to just 5-of-19 (26.3 percent).

The end of the Aces vs Mercury first half. 

In the third quarter, the Mercury bounced back just a little as they cut the Aces’ lead to 14. However, a 7-0 run from Las Vegas pushed their lead back past 20, where it remained for the rest of the period. 

The start of the Aces vs Mercury second half. 

Aces vs Mercury | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ashley Kate Frese- NBA Photos

Las Vegas again made 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) of their attempts from the field, while Phoenix went 7-of-18 (38.9 percent). The Aces dominated the inside, outscoring the Mercury 16-8 in points in the paint.

Las Vegas’ lead trended between 20 and 30 points throughout the final period, as this game was already well out of hand. The Aces made 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) shots from the field, while Phoenix went 7-of-17 (41.2 percent).

In other news, Riquna Williams’ domestic violence charges were dropped this past Thursday after her wife, the alleged victim, failed to appear to testify at a preliminary hearing.

Williams’ lawyer said she hopes to rejoin the Aces as the season winds down.

Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon says that, as of now, Williams will not be with the team despite the Aces being aware of her charges being dropped Thursday.

Also of note, with the Chicago Sky clinching the eighth seed, the two possible first-round opponents for Las Vegas are known.

If they get the number one seed, they’ll face Chicago, but if they finish with the second seed, they’ll take on the Washington Mystics.

The final score of the Aces vs Mercury was 94-73.

The Aces will now take on the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, September 10th, at noon PST.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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