FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Sparks – Game 3 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (3-0) | Los Angeles Sparks (1-2)


The Las Vegas Aces received their championship rings and celebrated by trouncing the Los Angeles Sparks 93-65.

The Aces vs Sparks played at the Michelob ULTRA Arena on Saturday.

Aces vs Sparks Beckie Hammon
Photo Credit: Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media

A franchise-record crowd of 10,191 showed up to witness the Las Vegas Aces receive their championship rings, and they roared endlessly as Las Vegas dismantled the Los Angeles Sparks, 93-65.

It’s a great environment,” WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said. “To sell out the home opener here for the ring ceremony is great, especially when the Knights are playing down the road. That’s pretty outstanding that they sold out tonight. So we love the fan base here and we love Vegas.”

I think you see what a great sports town Vegas is, and the Aces were here even before the Raiders,” Engelbert added. “Whenever a franchise has a first win in their history, like Chicago in ’21 and Vegas last year, I think it helps lift the entire league.”

A’ja Wilson led the way with 23 points (10-of-13 FGs), six rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks. Kelsey Plum added 19 points (7-of-17 FGs, 3-for-9 3s) and five assists. Jackie Young contributed 16 points (7-of-11 FGs, 2-for-4 3s), three rebounds, three assists, and two steals after posting a career night last time out.

The Aces received their championship rings before pummeling the Sparks

We wouldn’t be able to wear these rings without y’all,” Wilson said to the energetic crowd.

The start of the Aces vs Sparks first half. 

Aces vs Sparks Jackie Young
Photo Credit: Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media

It was also head coach Becky Hammon’s first game back on the bench after serving a two-game suspension. 

Hammon was suspended for the first two games of the season following a WNBA investigation that found the franchise violated league rules regarding player benefits and workplace policies involving former Ace Dearica Hamby. The WNBA also stripped the Aces of their 2025 first-round draft pick.

This is my 25th year, in either the WNBA or NBA and this is truly my home space,” Hammon said. “It was definitely nice to get out there and be with my team. But honestly, they’ve been so awesome through this, this whole thing. They know how to make me smile for sure. It was nice to have this moment with them.”

The Sparks’ Hamby was the first player from last year’s Aces championship squad to receive her ring.

Obviously a moment that I know I should probably be proud of and embrace,” Hamby said to The Associated Press before the game. “I mean, me getting a ring is special, but I’m going to do it for the fans.”

For Los Angeles, it was Nneka Ogwumike leading the way with 16 points (7-of-8 FGs) and five rebounds, while Karlie Samuelson chipped in with 13 points (5-of-8 FGs, 3-for-4 3s), seven rebounds, and three assists. No other Spark scored in double digits.

The end of the Aces vs Sparks first half. 

The Aces dominated early, as Wilson opened the game up with two easy baskets, and Las Vegas never took their foot off the pedal.

The start of the Aces vs Sparks second half. 

Aces vs Sparks A'Ja Wilson
Photo Credit: Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas finished the first half with a 31-point lead after WNBA Finals MVP, Gray, knocked down a 31-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer.

I try not to look at it as defending a title, or wanting to go back to back,” Wilson said of the pressure of pursuing a second title. “I just approach it the same way I did the first one, I think we all do, if we look at it in that way, we’re gonna put more pressure on ourselves and it’s downhill from there. 

“I’m so glad that we got this ring out of the way because that’s just one distraction to put us aside and now we can really focus on and lock in,” Wilson added. “But we know that target on our back is now a lot bigger. With that being said we work a lot harder.”

Additionally, something to monitor moving forward is the availability of Riquna Williams, who was ruled out for the third consecutive game with a lower back injury.

The final score of the Aces vs Sparks was 93-65, Aces.

The Aces will now take on the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday, May 28th, at 6:00 pm PST.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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