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Three more 20-point scorers allow Aces to push past Wings to extend win streak

Las Vegas players Kelsey Plum (#10), Jackie Young (#0) and Alysha Clark (#7) acknowledge each other during the team's win over Dallas Sunday afternoon. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

For the first time in nearly three weeks, the Las Vegas Aces returned home the same way it left, with a win. Along the way, the team improved to 12-0 at home.

Las Vegas got revenge for its second loss of the season against Dallas with a 104-91 win from the Michelob Ultra Arena Sunday, July 30. Since the team’s loss against the Wings, the Aces have reeled off seven straight wins.

“That’s a really good team over there,” head coach Becky Hammon said. “We have a lot of respect for them. They’re very good at some things that I would say we’re pretty average at – they’re really good at.”

With the win, Las Vegas runs its overall record to 23-2 this season after putting up 100 or more points for the sixth time this season. The team’s brief two-game homestand concludes Tuesday night as it will welcome in Atlanta for a 7 p.m. matchup.

The Aces still have yet to lose since the league has returned to action following the all-star break.

“We got time away from each other,” forward A’ja Wilson said. “I think that was needed – even though we were obviously here for all-star [weekend] with other all-stars but just having that time to decompress and not really think about the game gives us that feel again. You get that itch back to get back on the court and I think that’s where it came from.”

In order to get this win, Las Vegas had to endure a third quarter blitzkrieg from Dallas that saw the visitors wipe away a double-digit point lead. The Wings closed the third quarter on an 11-0 run en route to winning the frame by 10 points.

That run was stretched to 15-0 in the early moments of the fourth quarter while trimming the once 20-point lead to three.

Aces guard Chelsea Gray (#12) hypes up teammate A'ja Wilson (#22) after an and-one basket. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

"They hurt us on the glass,” Hammon said. “That’s the biggest thing they have, they were very intentional. I thought we did a good job in the paint that first half so whenever you do a good job on somebody’s strength, they’re always going to revert back to that. I thought they were just more forceful and more intentional.”

While Dallas went on that run, Las Vegas went without a point for 3:38 between the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth. On the way to that 20-point lead, the Aces jumped on the Wings in the first quarter to the tune of 15 points.

After winning the first quarter, 35-20, Las Vegas claimed its first 30-point quarter of the year against Dallas in the third outing between the two clubs.

“I think we got off to a good start,” guard Chelsea Gray said. “We were able to get stops and play in transition and get our offense flowing. Everybody was touching the ball and playing off each other very well.”

Wings all-star Arike Ogunbowale was limited to just two points in the first half after entering the game averaging almost 22 points per contest. She’d finish the game with 14 points on 6-of-18 from the floor.

“We were congesting her a lot,” Gray said. “But we have to take our hats off to [guard Jackie Young], she was making looks difficult and never really let her get in a rhythm.”

On the other end, the Aces were led by three 20-point scorers including Gray, Wilson and leading scorer Kelsey Plum, who tallied 28 points and six rebounds. Plum recorded 17 of her 28 points in the second half including seven straight points in the fourth quarter to push the lead back to double-digits.

Gray filled the stat sheet with 27 points, eight assists and five rebounds in her 36 minutes of play. Wilson added 22 points, seven rebounds and six blocks including three in the first quarter.

Las Vegas forward A'ja Wilson blocks Dallas center Kalani Brown inside the Michelob Ultra Arena. Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

“My biggest thing is making sure that I’m there for my teammates,” Wilson said. “Just trying to be the anchor for the defense, just trying to be the best player I can be on both sides of the basketball.”

Reserve forward Alysha Clark chipped in with 12 points off-the-bench including a 4-for-4-mark from three-point range. She has now scored in double-figures in two of the last three games and four games in total during the month of July. In the two months prior, she had a combined three double-digit scoring games.

“Y’all better close out,” Gray said of Clark’s shooting performance.

Clark left the last game and did not return after catching an elbow near the eye in the team’s road contest in Chicago. She received stitches under her right eye.


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