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FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Mercury – Round 1-  Game 2

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (2-0)  |  Phoenix Mercury (0-2)


After a sloppy and uninspiring Game 1 performance, the Las Vegas Aces responded in Game 2 with an impressive 117-80 win over Phoenix. The starters combined for 87 points in the blowout win to the Mercury’s season. Continue reading for the recap.




Aces vs Mercury
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

The concept of basketball is to put the ball in the rim, and for nearly all 40 minutes of the AcesGame 1 win over the Phoenix Mercury, it was entirely too difficult for Vegas to do such. Players repeatedly came up short from deep and missed the mark even closer in. And it ended up taking a late, fourth-quarter rally from Chelsea Gray for the Aces to narrowly creep their way to 79 points and just over 40.0 percent shooting from the field.

Game 2‘s story couldn’t have been any different.

The tone was set immediately as Kelsey Plum found the bottom of the net from distance on the team’s first possession of the game. The deep-range make one of eight to drop for Vegas in the first frame alone — two from Plum, two from Jackie Young, two from Chelsea Gray, and apiece by Iliana Rupert and A’ja Wilson.

However, a playoff record-setting eight 3-pointers in quarter one only left the home team with a four-point cushion after the first 10 minutes, mainly because of Phoenix‘s Diamond DeShields and Kaela Davis. The tandem combined for 23 of Phoenix‘s 30 opening-quarter points, leaving Aces coach Becky Hammon visibly frustrated.

But the red-hot shooting from Phoenix was bound to settle down eventually, and once the shots stopped dropping in the second quarter, it didn’t take long for the Aces‘ superstar talent to grab control of the game.

A four-point lead after the first quarter grew to 19 at the half, skyrocketing to 34 following the third, thanks to a magical display of 3-point shooting from Gray.

Mostly all subs made their way to the court by the start of the fourth quarter as the clock ticked down on Phoenix‘s 2022 season. With a dominant 117-80 Game 2 win, the Aces avenged their 2021 postseason elimination to the Mercury and will now advance to the WNBA semifinals.




Aces vs Mercury
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Not all was good for the Aces on Saturday night. First, on the final play of the third quarter, Vegas lost rookie Iliana Rupert to an apparent head injury. Then, Kiah Stokes went down with an injured ankle just a little into the last quarter. The severity of either injury is unknown, but two potential blows to an already thin frontcourt would be problematic for Becky Hammon‘s squad going forward.

Some history was made at Michelob ULTRA Arena during Game 2.

1) The Aces made 23 3-pointers on Saturday to become the only team in WNBA playoff history to make 20+ in a game.

2) Vegas‘ 117 points scored set a franchise record.

3) The Aces set a WNBA playoff record by making its first ten shots from the field and tied a WNBA playoff record by making its first seven three-point attempts of the game.

4) The Aces‘ 64.1 percent shooting from the field was the second-highest in WNBA playoff history.

5) The Aces‘ 31 assists are the most in a postseason game in franchise history and the third most in WNBA playoff history.

Chelsea Gray tied her playoff career high with 27 points. Her 7 made threes are the third most in WNBA postseason history.

Kelsey Plum has scored 20 or more points in 6 of her last seven playoff games.




Chelsea Gray (Aces): 27 PTS, 8 ASTS, 1 STL, 2 BLKS 7/8 3PT

Kelsey Plum (Aces): 22 PTS, 4 REBS, 3 ASTS, 4/6 3PT

A’ja Wilson (Aces): 17 PTS, 4 REBS, 5 ASTS, 1 BLK

Diamond DeShields (Mercury): 21 PTS, 2 STLS

Kaela Davis (Mercury): 23 PTS, 6 REBS, 3 ASTS, 1 STL, 1 BLK


Las Vegas will head to the WNBA semifinals for the fourth time in a row and await the conclusion of the Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics first-round series to learn of its second-round opponent. Stay tuned, and be sure to check back in with us at Franchise Sports Media next round.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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