Directed by: Trisha LaCoste

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Sparks – Game 28 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (20-8)  |  Los Angeles Sparks (12-15)


The Las Vegas Aces finished up a three-game home stand on Saturday night with an 84-66 win over Liz Cambage and the visiting Los Angeles Sparks. The Aces used a solid third quarter by Kelsey Plum and a dominant defensive second half to gain separation from LA. Plum’s 29 and A’ja Wilson’s 24 led the way. Here are three takeaways from the game.




Aces vs Sparks
Photo Credit Alon Sowell/Franchise Sports Media


Whistles were blowing left and right during the first quarter once Las Vegas grabbed a 16-6 lead, ultimately preventing the Aces from taking control of the game in the way they had in their previous meeting with the purple and gold. In fact, their eight fouls (mostly valid) led to 13 Los Angeles free throws and a 22-21 Sparks lead after the first frame.

The stop-and-start rhythm forced the game into a choppy, grind-it-out kind that fit right into the Sparks‘ style — the lower the score, the better for them. And for the Aces, the highest scoring team in the league (90.7), the low-scoring affair was exactly what they didn’t need.

But, one thing led to another, and the Aces ultimately found their way on offense in the second half.



The Aces were decent from beyond the arc (10/27), and the pesky Los Angeles perimeter defenders forced the Aces to play in the paint. But that didn’t exactly go well for the home team, either. The Sparks continuously denied the Aces players at the rim, and I decided I needed to do some research. What did I need to know? Which players have gotten their shots blocked the most in the WNBA this season? What I found: A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, and Dearica Hamby ranked in the top 5, which is unsurprising if you’ve kept up with the Aces this season.

Luckily, the Aces have multiple players who can put the team on their back and take over a game with their scoring. A’ja Wilson, and Kelsey Plum, specifically, were the ones who got the job done on Saturday.


Aces vs Sparks
Photo Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media


The Sparks have an excellent defense, which is why Vegas struggled to score most of the game. But the Sparks also can have a stagnant offense — one that is very paint-centric and unable to produce much of anything from the perimeter (similar to the Aces of old). But a lot that went wrong on Saturday night was due to Las Vegas‘ defense. The Aces forced LA into 14 turnovers, a hair above 40.0 percent from the field, two 3-point makes, and just 64 total points on the night.

The 66 points were the fewest the Aces had given up all season and the first time they had held a team below 70 points in a game.


A’ja Wilson (Aces) – 24 PTS, 6 REBS, 4 ASTS, 2 STLS, 2 BLKS, 2/5 3PT

Kelsey Plum (Aces) – 29 PTS, 5 ASTS, 2 ASTS, 1 STL, 4/8 3PT

Nneka Ogwumike (Sparks) – 10 PTS, 5 REBS, 1 ASTS, 1 STL, 1 BLK


Las Vegas will take a break from its regular-season games and shift its focus to the Commissioner’s Cup championship game. They’ll travel to Chicago to take on the Sky on Tuesday, July 26th, for a chance to earn bragging rights and a little extra money. Be sure to tune into that one streaming live on Prime Video at 5:30 pm PST. Check back with us after the game for a recap and analysis.


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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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