Video Credit: Trisha LaCoste/Franchise Sports Media

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Mercury – Game 5

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (4-1)  |  Phoenix Mercury (2-2)



The Las Vegas Aces returned home after a three-day layoff and overcame an early deficit to beat the Phoenix Mercury 86-74.



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

Game 5 for the Aces was not like Game 1, and the Phoenix Mercury would ensure that from the onset. They played the role of the aggressor on both ends of the court with physicality and energy that was absent in their 106-88 opening-night loss to Las Vegas — a game that saw the Aces jump to a 14-point lead after the first frame and bump it up to 22 points at the break.

But fortunately for Becky Hammon‘s squad, this was not like Game 3 either. Of course, that Tuesday night in the nation’s capital was when the Aces tasted their first defeat of this young WNBA season. The Mystics trailed 49-36 at the half and punched Vegas in the mouth to begin the third quarter, leading to a Washington avalanche in that second half.

This was Game 5, and perhaps Vegas has already done some growing this early in the season. Because, unlike in the Mystics game, the Aces would take those punches from the Mercury and return the favor.

It didn’t matter who was delivering the blows. Tina Charles, Diamond DeShields, Brianna Turner, Dianna Taurasi — didn’t matter. The Aces would spend the second and third quarters cranking up the defense and finding their rhythm on offense — slowly chipping away at the deficit.

From the second quarter on, It seemed as though each Phoenix attack was countered with an A’ja Wilson block, a Kelsey Plum basket, or a Jackie Young 3-pointer. The trio led the Aces in scoring and combined to score 55 points, with a couple of late threes from Plum eventually putting the nail in the coffin.

Vegas would earn an 86-74 win and move to 4-1 on the season.



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

Balanced attack – The Aces had five players finish in double figures in the scoring department for the fourth time this season. And it’s no coincidence that each of those four games has resulted in wins for Las Vegas. Plum led the way with a game-high 20 points, and Jackie Young finished with 19 points and three 3-pointers.

Defending Taurasi – Much like the majority of last postseason’s AcesMercury matchups, Jackie Young took the Diana Taurasi assignment. And like that postseason series, Young did a tremendous job guarding her. Taurasi finished with 8 points on 1/6 shooting (all threes) and did not score a point when Young was her primary defender.

Turnover watch – The turnover counter may as well be a regular thing here at Franchise Sports Media. The Aces began the season with three straight games committing 16 turnovers, and coach Hammon was not pleased. Tonight, their nine turnovers marked the first time all season the team landed below 10. The players know how important protecting the ball is. So much so that it was one of the first things Chelsea Gray looked for when she grabbed the stat sheet following the win.

Third-quarter KP – Tuesday night was a flashback to the 2021 season. During that year, Plum would emerge from the Aces‘ bench and go on a scoring tear during the third quarter to put Vegas in control of the game. Plum didn’t register her first field goal until just before the end of the first half and finished the game with 20 points.


You can catch the Aces in action on Thursday, May 19th, when they host Sylvia Fowles and the Minnesota Lynx. Follow the game live at 7 p.m. PST and check back with us for a game recap.

Aces vs Mercury                   Aces vs Mercury                      Aces vs Mercury                      Aces vs Mercury                        Aces vs Mercury                   Aces vs Mercury                      Aces vs Mercury     

-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Cole on Twitter @ColeHoops

Follow The Franchise on social media