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Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Recap: Aces vs Mystics – Game 18 – 2024

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (12-6)  |  Washington Mystics (5-16)

The Aces vs Mystics played a 4th of July game inside Michelob Ultra Arena on Thursday night. Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young, and the WNBA’s best player, A’ja Wilson, led the way for the Aces as they came away with a comfortable 98-77 win. 

 

Aces vs Lynx - Game 10 - 2024 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces looked to set off fireworks on The Fourth of July when they took on the Washington Mystics inside Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

The Aces came into the game winners of five straight games and were coming off a beatdown of the Indiana Fever and Caitlin Clark on national TV. Washington flew into Vegas after defeating the Los Angeles Sparks 82-80 but still has the WNBA’s third-worst record.

The Aces got Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum going early in the game. Plum torched the Mystics with four first-half threes, finishing with a game-high six made threes. That was part of the Aces’ attack as they finished the first half with 56% shooting from the field and 46% from behind the arc.

Plum finished the game with 28 points, and Young was the team’s second-leading scorer with 20 and notched her second-straight double-double and fourth of the season. A’ja Wilson finished the game with 18 points, nine rebounds, and four assists, Chelsea Gray chipped in 8 and 5 assists, and Megan Gustafson added 9 and 6 rebounds.

The Mystics were without one of their best players, Stefanie Dolson, who was out due to illness, and Ariel Atkins was the only starter in double figures. Washington did get 19 points off the bench from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough.

 

Aces vs Mystics First Quarter

 

Aces vs Lynx - Game 10 - 2024 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The first quarter was not indicative of the final score, as both teams started the game trading bucket for bucket.

Atkins made a 5-foot layup to get the scoring started for the Mystics, only for Wilson to drain a jumper to tie the game at two-apiece. Both teams went through multiple possessions without scoring until Aaliyah Edwards made a layup to give Washington a 4-2 lead. After Young pulled up and drilled a jumper from 18 feet to tie the game at 4, both teams seemed to find their rhythm.

Plum and Young started to cook mid-way through the first quarter. It started when Plum nailed a jumper, and Young followed that up with a lay-up. Gray went to the free-throw line on consecutive possessions, hitting two of four free throws, but the score remained 10-9 Aces at the first media timeout.

Wilson made a 13-foot jumper, and after a Washington turnover, plum made it a 4-0 Aces run after she made her jump shot. Walker-Kimbrough made a three-pointer to give the Mystics a 15-14 lead, only to have Plum make her first three-pointer of the evening to help the Aces reclaim the lead. 

After a Jade Melbourne layup, the Aces went on a 6-0 run. Alysha Clark sandwiched a basket and two free throws around a layup by Wilson as Las Vegas scored the final six points to take a 23-20 lead after the first-quarter buzzer sounded.

 

Aces vs Mystics Second Quarter

 

Aces vs Liberty - Game 12 | Franchise Sports Media
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The second quarter started off slow, as neither team scored for the first minute and 15 seconds. The Mystics stopped the Aces’ run, scoring the first four points of the quarter. But 7:09 into the second quarter, it became the Kelsey Plum show. 

She drilled a three-pointer on back-to-back possessions to push the Las Vegas lead to 31–26. Jackie Young followed that up with four straight points for the Aces. After a Washington timeout, Megan Gustafson made a three-pointer to push the Las Vegas lead to 38–27.

Wilson then made a 19-foot jumper to increase the lead to 13 points. After two Mystics free throws, Plum made another three-pointer. After two Jackie Young free throws, Gray made her own three-pointer of the evening to make the score 48–31.

Washington went on a 4-0 run to end the quarter, but the damage was done as the Aces outscored Washington 25-15 and took a 48-35 lead heading into halftime. 

 

Aces vs Mystics Third Quarter

 

FSM Recap: Aces vs Sun | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The third quarter was much like the second, as the Aces put their foot on the gas pedal to blow the game open.

Atkins made a three-pointer for Washington to start the scoring to cut the Aces lead to 10 points, but Chelsea Gray followed that up with a three-pointer of her own, and A’ja Wilson followed that up with a short jump shot to give the Aces 53-38 lead. 

After two plum free throws, Washington made a layup. Plum them made a highlight real play. She took the ball on the right wing and stepped back, forcing the defender to come forward to defend her jumper. Plum then blew by the defender and split two more defenders for an easy layup to give the Aces a 17-point lead.

Alliyah Edwards made a layup, which was quickly followed by a Jackie Young bucket. Wilson followed that up with a jump shot of her own. DiDi Richards made a 12-foot jump shot to cut the lead to 71-49, but Young came right down and drilled a three-pointer to increase the Las Vegas lead. After Shakira Austin received a technical foul on the bench, Young made the free throw to make the score 75–49.

After two Mystics free throws, Plum went on a 6-0 run of her own, drilling two three-pointers to give the Aces a 30-point lead with the score being 81–51. 

The third quarter ended with the Aces taking a 28-point lead into the fourth quarter, and this came all but wrapped up. 

 

Aces vs Mystics Fourth Quarter

 

FSM Recap: Aces vs Sun | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

With the game in hand, the fourth quarter started with Las Vegas pulling all their starters except for Chelsea Gray. With a quick turnaround and having to travel to Los Angeles, this was an ideal situation for Aces head coach Becky Hammon to rest her starters while easily winning a game.

Washington outscored the Aces 22–15 in the fourth quarter, which was mainly uneventful. A bright spot for the Aces was the play of Gustafson, who finished the game with nine points and six rebounds. She scored six points in the fourth quarter. 

Kristian Bell also got in the game. I contributed five points off the bench. Alysha Clark scored four points and contributed four rebounds and a steal. 

The Aces’ defense continues to improve over the course of the last six games; in fact, there wasn’t a single Washington Mystic player who had a positive  +/- for the entire game. They shot 38.6% from the field, while the Aces shot 59.4%.

The Aces will now look to avenge a loss to the 4-win Los Angeles Sparks back on June 9th in L.A. They will also have a quick turnaround as they take on the Dallas Wings on Sunday, giving them three games in four days.

 

The Aces will now take on the Los Angeles Sparks at Crypto.com Arena Friday evening, with tip-off scheduled for 7:00 pm. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

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

– Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on all social media: @joearrigofsm

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