Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Sky – Game 31

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (23-8) | Chicago Sky (15-16)



The Aces secured the second seed and a double-bye in the 2021 playoffs after defeating the Chicago Sky for the second time this season. Las Vegas used a 34-17 second quarter to power themselves to a 103-70 win on friday night. 



Aces vs Sky
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

As was the case in the previous two AcesSky games, it was very evident early on that it would be a dogfight from start to finish. Former Los Angeles Sparks teammates Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray each put the first couple of points on the board for their teams to begin the game. Feeling each other out over the first few minutes, Chicago and Las Vegas exchanged a few mid-range jumpers and shots at the rim up until Courtney Vandersloot’s three-pointer gave the Sky a 15-14 edge.

Riquna Williams answered on the next possession with a three of her own before following it with a 20-foot jump shot courtesy of A’ja Wilson. Williams’ hot hand put the Aces ahead by four, but Parker matched WIliiams’ 5-0 run with one of her own, giving Chicago a bit of momentum down the stretch of the quarter. Vegas would outscore the Sky by six points over the final couple of minutes to take a 27-22 advantage into the second quarter.

Diamond DeShields opened the second frame with a three to trim the Aces’ lead to two points, but the next five minutes of play would be all Vegas. Behind second-unit standouts Kelsey Plum and Dearica Hamby, the Aces stormed ahead of Chicago using a 19-4 run. Chicago desperately needed an answer to keep the game within striking distance, sitting at just nine points on 4/14 shooting from the field in the second quarter.

Their solution came from a Candace ParkerAllie Quigley mini 4-0 run to temporarily close the once 19-point gap to 15. Yet, Wilson and Williams finished the quarter strong for Las Vegas before Plum’s stepback three-pointer with 3.2 seconds left put the Aces on top 61-39 at the half.

Aces vs Sky
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Both teams came out of the half-firing. Three made threes gave Chicago a 13-9 edge through the opening minutes of the third quarter, but they still found themselves down 70-52. Unpleased with how the game was swinging, Aces’ coach Bill Laimbeer burned an early timeout to get the game back under control. As Laimbeer may have hoped, the Aces responded out of the timeout with a 9-2 run to rebuild a 25-point lead.

The two teams would play out the remaining quarter about evenly. Dearica Hamby and Jackie Young provided the scoring for Las Vegas, and Diamond DeShields doing her part for Chicago. Las Vegas led 89-60 after three quarters.

Unlike the prior three quarters, both Las Vegas and Chicago produced very little offense. The fourth-quarter points leaned 8-5 in the Aces’ favor through five minutes of play, having assisted on all four of their converted shots. The long quarter finally made it to its conclusion as Ji-Su Park assisted Jackie Young for a layup in the closing moments to give the Aces a season-best 32 assists en route to a 103-70 victory over the Sky.




Sharing the SugarVegas scored a season-best 61 points in the first half in Chicago thanks to their 19 assists on 24 made shots. The 19 first-half assists were the team’s most in any half of basketball that they played this season.

The Three Ball – The WNBA’s best-kept secret this season has arguably been how drastically improved the Aces are at shooting the three. They surely won’t be confused for the New York Liberty, who recently broke the WNBA record for three-pointers made in a single season. Still, Vegas has been consistently good throughout the season and bolster some scary three-point shooters that can heat up with the best of them. They finished with nine makes tonight on 50 percent shooting from deep.




Third-Quarter – If there was a point in the game where things got uncomfortable, it was in the third quarter. The Sky opened the quarter red-hot as their offense picked apart Vegas’ defense. Fortunately for Vegas, their offense was also red-hot, and was able to go stride-for-stride with Chicago to keep their lead around 20 points.


The Aces finish their regular season in Phoenix as they take on the the Sun on Sunday, September 19th. Follow the action live on ABC at 12:00 p.m. PST, and remember to check back for the next recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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