Directed By: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

FSM Recap: Aces vs Sparks – Game 2 – 2024

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Las Vegas Aces (2-0)  |  Los Angeles Sparks (0-2)

 

It was the Aces vs Sparks inside Michelob ULTRA Arena in the second game of the 2024 season. The back-to-back champions welcomed the Los Angeles Sparks and their number two pick and rookie star, Cameron Brink, to Vegas and came away with an 89-82 win. 

 

Aces vs Sparks - Game 2 - 2024
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The back-to-back WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces were at home against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday, following their opening night win against Phoenix earlier this week.

An energized crowd of 10,286 filled Michelob ULTRA Arena for the two-time WNBA champions’ second home game of the year. The crowd went home happy with an 89-82 win over the Sparks.

A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young both scored 22 points for the Aces. Wilson also added three assists and ten rebounds to grab yet another double-double. Young also had a double-double, dishing 11 assists and hitting tough shots all night. Kelsey Plum was her usual steady self(17 points) to be the third-leading scorer for the team.

Dearica Hamby erupted for 29 points, scorching the nets for 12-16 from the field. Hamby was backed up by Lexi Brown and Kia Nurse, who had 16 and 13 points, respectively. Number 2 pick and rising star Cameron Brink struggled from the field (1-7) but showcased some tremendous interior defense.

The Aces were without Chelsea Gray, who is still recovering (lower left leg injury).

 

Aces vs Sparks First Quarter:

 

Aces vs Sparks - Game 2 - 2024
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Scoring was sparse early, as both teams struggled to pierce their respective defenses. Alysha Clark hit her first 3 of the night to get the Aces on the scoreboard, with Kelsey Plum hitting one of her own shortly after. A barrage of jump shots for both teams followed as the offense looked jumbled for much of the opening period. Both teams were having trouble connecting, as Jackie Young finally connected for the home team, and Lexie Brown responded.

Both teams seemed visibly frustrated by a lack of offensive rhythm, and Aja Wilson’s 1-8 performance from the field in the first was evidence that the teams were off. Megan Gustafson tied the game at 16-16 before Kia Nurse dropped in a short jump shot to take an 18-16 lead over the home team. The Aces shot a paltry 5-21 (23%) from the field in the first and looked to shake off their rough start.

Luckily, their defense could limit the Sparks and prevent them from pulling ahead.

 

Aces vs Sparks 2nd Quarter:

 

Aces vs Sparks - Game 2 - 2024
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

The offense continued to struggle through the second period’s first half. The Aces tied the game and took a brief after a tough made three by Kiah Stokes and a skillful fadeaway by Jackie Young. The Sparks responded with Rickea Jackson nailing back-to-back 3s to give the Sparks a 5-point lead. Coach Becky Hammon, clearly frustrated, called timeout to regroup with her team, imploring them not to settle for jump shots and get to the rim.

Out of the timeout, Ziah Cooke hit a tough shot to extend Los Angeles‘ lead to seven, but after that, it was all VegasJackie Young, Alysha Clark, and Aja Wilson all hit 3s, and the Aces went on a dominant 17-1 run to end the half. Wilson finally asserted her dominance inside, drawing free throws.

The only score for the Sparks was a Dearica Hamby free throw, as the Aces flexed their firepower heading into the half with a 42-33 lead.

 

Aces vs Mercury 3rd Quarter:

 

Aces vs Sparks - Game 2 - 2024
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Alysha Clark got the Vegas going with a basket off of a nice pass from Kelsey PlumAja Wilson followed with a tough shot inside immediately after a Plum jump shot. The Aces kept the lead in the 8-12 range for the entire quarter, not allowing the Sparks to close the gap with solid, disciplined defense.

Dearica Hamby did all she could with 14 points in the quarter to keep the Sparks in the game, using physicality to push her way into the paint and score over solid defense. Lexie Brown backed up Hamby with 10 points, hitting one particularly tough three off a Layshia Clarendon assist.

However, Megan Gustafson hit a pair of free throws to end the quarter and afford the Aces a 12-point 71-59 lead going into the final quarter.

 

Aces vs Mercury 4th Quarter:

 

Aces vs Sparks - Game 2 - 2024
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Lexie Brown kept up her hot shooting by nailing a 3 to start the quarter for the Sparks, with Kelsey Plum responding with a tough stepback of 3 of her own. From there, Jackie Young got aggressive and scored back-to-back tough baskets to hold off the Sparks, including a very difficult 3. Standout Los Angeles rookie Cameron Brink finally got on the scoreboard with a tough basket plus a foul.

Hamby and the Sparks refused to go away, though, as they charged late, cutting the score to 84-80 with 2:37 left in the game. Hammon called a time-out to focus her team up for the end of the game. Aja Wilson and Jackie Young hit back-to-back clutch baskets to put the game away, and the Aces clamped down on defense to finish.

For the Aces, it was business as usual; they paced themselves and beat a scrappy Sparks team that refused to give up in an 89-82 victory.

 

The Las Vegas Aces will take on the Phoenix Mercury at Michelob Ultra Arena this Tuesday. Tip-off is at 7:00 pm. Thank you for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news.

 

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– Jason Kelly – Franchise Sports Media

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