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FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Sun – Game 16 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (15-1) | Connecticut Sun (12-5)

 

The Las Vegas Aces win their eighth game in a row, defeating the Connecticut Sun 102-84.

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

Aces vs Sun Kelsey Plum
Photo Credit: Trisha Lacoste/Franchise Sports Media

The Las Vegas Aces ripped off 17 unanswered points to start the second half as they ran away with a 102-84 victory over the Connecticut Sun. The Aces’ current 14-game home winning streak is the longest in franchise history.

Led by 25 points (8-of-11 FGs, 4-for-4 3s) from newly announced All-Star reserve Kelsey Plum, all five Aces starters scored in double figures. It’ll be the second All-Star game appearance for Plum, the reigning All-Star Game MVP.

Plum shot a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range, her first perfect 3-point shooting game since August 13th, 2019, and the first time she hasn’t missed from beyond the arc in her career when attempting more than two.

A’ja Wilson picked up the 63rd double-double of her career with 23 points (8-of-15 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs) and 13 boards, as well as five assists.

The Aces handled business against the Sun

Wilson puts up this performance after signing a two-year contract extension. Wilson was due to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in her career after this season. 

The start of the Aces vs Sun first half. 

Aces vs Sun Jackie Young
Photo Credit: Trisha Lacoste/Franchise Sports Media

Wilson, however, did not sign a max extension with the Aces, meaning the entire core four took less money to keep the group together, as Chelsea Gray, Plum, and Jackie Young all took less than they could’ve received last summer.

Candace Parker again tied her season-high with 15 points (7-of-10 FGs, 1-for-3 3s), dishing eight dimes and tallying three steals. 

Gray and Young chipped in 11 points apiece. Gray added four rebounds, four assists, and two blocks, while Young contributed six rebounds, four assists, and two steals.

The Sun were led by DeWanna Bonner’s 19 points (8-of-16 FGs, 2-for-5 3s) and Alyssa Thomas’ 12 points (5-of-12 FGs), 11 assists, five rebounds, and two steals. Bonner scored 17 of her 19 points in the first half.

The Aces and Sun were tied at 15, but then a putback from Wilson gave Las Vegas the lead that they’d never give up. The Aces closed out the quarter on a 9-3 run. 

Las Vegas shot 57.1 percent (12-of-21 FGs) from the field, outrebounded Connecticut 14-8, and received 10 points apiece from Parker and Wilson. Connecticut, which made 45 percent (9-of-20 FGs) of its field goal attempts, was led by eight points from Bonner.

The end of the Aces vs Sun first half. 

The Aces outscored the Sun 24-14 points in the paint in the first 10 minutes of play.

The start of the Aces vs Sun second half. 

Aces vs Sun Chelsea Grey
Photo Credit: Trisha Lacoste/Franchise Sports Media

The Aces went up by double figures six times in the second quarter. However, each time Connecticut managed to cut it back to single digits until a turnaround jumper from Wilson with five seconds on the clock put the Aces up by 11 at halftime. 

Las Vegas shot 71.4 percent (10-of-14 FGs) from the field and were a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line, while Connecticut made 55 percent (11-of-20 FGs) from the floor, 66.7 percent (4-of-6 3s) from distance. 

Las Vegas then took off and scored the 17 straight unanswered points, blowing the game wide open at 76-48. Over the first four minutes of the third quarter, the Aces shot 6-of-8 from the field, including a pair of 3s.

Their defense forced the Sun into 0-of-4 from the field and four turnovers. However, Connecticut outscored the Aces 15-9 to bring the quarter to an 84-63 close. Olivia Nelson-Ododa was the quarter’s leading scorer for the Sun with four points.

This is just the third time this year that teams have shot better than 50 percent against the Sun (The Atlanta Dream (.514 percent) on June 15 and the Aces (.508 percent) on June 6, 2023).

These coaches (Aces coach Becky Hammon and Sun coach Stephanie White) will return in two weeks to coach in the All-Star Game on July 15. Hammon will coach the game for the second consecutive year, while White will be coaching the game for the first time.

The final score of the Aces vs Sun was 102-84, Aces.

The Aces will now rematch the Connecticut Sun on Wednesday, July 5th, at 7:00 PM PST.

 

– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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