Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Mercury – Semifinals Game 5

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (2-3)  |  Phoenix Mercury (3-2)



The Las Vegas Aces fell at home in Game 5 of the semifinals to the Phoenix Mercury, ending their season prematurely. Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi led a fourth-quarter comeback, which was capped by some clutch late-game play from Shey Peddy. The Mercury will advance to the WNBA Finals and face the Chicago Sky. 




As if it weren’t predictable, the Phoenix Mercury once again jumped out to an early lead over the Aces, this time by way of defense. Neither team had a particularly scorching start from the field, and the closely contested game led to many lead changes throughout the quarter before Phoenix took a ten-point advantage behind the savvy of Diana Taurasi. Vegas ultimately strung together a few buckets towards the end of the quarter to creep back into the game. The Mercury took a 20-14 lead into the second frame, with Shey Peddy’s nine points leading the way.

Jackie Young opened up the scoring for Las Vegas in the second quarter. Her two-point shot quickly narrowed their deficit to four as both teams traded baskets throughout the first few minutes of the quarter. Back-to-back threes from Kelsey Plum cut the Phoneix lead to as little as two points until Shey Peddy and Skylar DigginsSmith helped push the Mercury’s lead to nine points. Las Vegas would utilize the free throw line and the paint to go on a 16-9 run to close out the half, leaving Phoenix ahead by two points at the break. Brittney Griner led all scorers with 15 points in the half, while Kelsey Plum was the Aces leading scorer with 13.

Las Vegas began the half with consecutive turnovers but quickly got their act together and used an 8-0 run to take a 50-46 lead. The run was keyed by six points from A’ja Wilson and some stellar team defense that led to two Mercury turnovers, forcing Sandy Brondello to burn a timeout. A 6-0 run ensued for Vegas after the Phoenix timeout, which put the Aces up by 10 before the Mercury finally ended their nearly five-minute scoring drought. The Mercury bullied their way to the free-throw line throughout the remainder of the quarter to keep the game close but still found themselves down by eight to begin the fourth after Chelsea Gray hit an elbow-jumper in the waning moments.

Aces vs Mercury
Photo Credit: Phoenix Mercury

Four quick Phoenix points in less than a minute of play sliced the Aces’ lead in half, and then back-to-back Taurasi threes gave Phoenix a 68-66 lead. Kelsey Plum drove the lane and finished with her left to end the 12-0 Phoenix run and give Vegas their first points of the quarter. Then, Plum’s and-one put the Aces back on top, but only temporarily, as the star players on each team refused to let their team lose. Taurasi scored, Griner scored, Wilson and Plum scored, and the sellout crowd at Michelob Ultra Arena found themselves with a two-point game with 2:27 left to decide who goes to the WNBA Finals

Chelsea Gray knocked down two free throws to extend the lead to four, but things went south from there. Griner and Taurasi spurred a 7-0 run and gave Phoenix an 84-81 lead with just over a minute to go. Gray answered with a three to tie the game up momentarily, but Shey Peddy was fouled on a three-point attempt in the final few seconds of the game. She made two of the three, and the Aces’ final attempt fell in the hands of A’ja Wilson, whose game-tying shot was stuffed at the rim by Brittney Griner. Phoenix knocked down a free throw to bump the lead to three as Plum’s full-court heave came up short and the Mercury advanced to the WNBA Finals by the score of 87-84.



Thank you all for your continued support throughout this long season. Unfortunately, the Aces came up short, but they have lots to look forward to going into next season. Stay tuned for more offseason content and be sure to keep up with everything Aces. 

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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