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FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Lynx – Game 6 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (5-1)  |  Minnesota Lynx (1-5)



The Las Vegas Aces had five players score in double figures to secure a 93-87 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night at Michelob ULTRA Arena. Here are five takeaways from the win.


1. Jackie Young is the real deal

Jackie Young has played many different roles thus far in her career. As a rookie, she was plugged in as a starting point guard for an Aces team that made it to the 2019 semifinals. Then, she moved out of the starting lineup in Year 2 and became instant offense from off the bench. And last year (2021), Bill Laimbeer moved Young back to the starting lineup and gave her the responsibility of guarding the opposing team’s best perimeter player each night. This season, under Becky Hammon, it’s all coming together.

Thursday’s game against Minnesota was the perfect showcase of what Young has become as a player. She scored a season-best 25 points, dished out four assists, registered three steals, and drained three 3-pointers — displaying a little bit of what she perfected each year of her career. Nights like Thursday are when you can easily see why Young was selected with the No. 1 pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft. She has the whole package and keeps getting better.

2. Trust in the rookie

As the Aces got Kiah Stokes back into the lineup, Riquana Williams missed Thursday’s game with a foot sprain. Now, Las Vegas will have to wait for at least another game to have its full complement of players for the first time all season. But Williams‘ absence left a vacancy on the bench as far as wing and guard depth goes. Hammon turned to rookie guard Aisha Sheppard to fill in, and she performed well.

The stats won’t tell the story — three points and one assist in 11:34 of gameplay. But the more telling thing was how comfortable she appeared to be on the court and how Hammon gave her a significant amount of playing time in such a close game. Sheppard‘s 3-point shooting and perimeter defense seem to have thrust her in front of Kierstan Bell and Sydney Colson for the time being.


3. Chelsea Gray deserves the game ball

Chelsea Gray finished the game with 17 points, seven assists, and two steals and was a team-best plus-16 in her 34:26. The Aces don’t win this game without her first-quarter contributions.

Gray dominated the beginning of this game and set the tone. Through not even the first five minutes of action, she had already recorded five points and three assists, which equated to 13 of Las Vegas‘ first 18 points. Such a start was very important following the team’s slow, poor first quarter in their previous game against Phoenix.


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

4. The defense wasn’t clicking

On Thursday, Las Vegas gave up 87 points to the Lynx and allowed them to shoot better than 45.0 percent from the field. The second quarter was the only time that the Aces were able to hold Minnesota under 20 points in a frame. As expected, coach Hammon wasn’t too pleased.

“Our defense sucked,” said Hammon when referencing the Aces‘ poor defensive start. “We looked good offensively because we were making shots. Everything looks good when you’re making shots, but conversely, we were giving them too many opportunities between the turnovers and the offensive rebounds. We were just not solid.”

Friday’s win over Minnesota was only the Aces‘ second time this season that they allowed their opponent to reach the 80-point mark.


5. Still nothing but love for Bill Laimbeer

May 19th was dubbed as Bill Laimbeer Night at Michelob ULTRA Arena. The organization celebrated Bill for his contributions to the W and Aces, in particular, as the birthday boy took in the game from the stands. Following the win, there was a nice embrace on the court between the retired coach and his former players. And they all had great things to say about him after the game.


Las Vegas will look to extend its win streak to four when the Aces host the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday, May 21st. You can catch the game live at noon PST on ABC. Check back with us after the game to learn if the Aces kept their undefeated record.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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