Fourth-quarter runs of 9-0 and 8-2 snuffed rally efforts from the visiting Minnesota Lynx as the Las Vegas Aces scored a 93-87 win on Thursday.
Jackie Young scored 25 points to lead the Aces (5-1).
Las Vegas rode a dominant second quarter to an 11-point halftime lead. Though the margin reached double digits at various points in the third quarter, the Lynx continuously clawed back.
Minnesota (1-5) got 25 points, six rebounds and six assists from Aerial Powers plus 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 11 rebounds from Sylvia Fowles.
Moriah Jefferson scored two of her 14 points on a jumper to pull the Lynx to within 76-74 with 7:05 remaining. Las Vegas answered with its 9-0 run, which included Young sinking all three free-throw attempts after a flagrant foul.
The Aces’ Dearica Hamby capped the run with a put-back, part of her 14-point, 12-rebound night. Hamby surpassed 2,000 career points in the win.
All five Las Vegas starters scored in double figures. A’ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray each notched 17 points, and Kelsey Plum had 14.
The Aces’ driving force was ultimately Young, who shined on both ends of the floor. In addition to her game-high-matching point total, she spent most of the night guarding Minnesota’s Kayla McBride. After McBride made her 2022 WNBA debut on Tuesday with 24 points in a win over Los Angeles, she was held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting on Thursday.
Young’s defensive effort also produced a game-high three steals.
Jessica Shepard recorded a double-double in the loss for the Lynx with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Shepard’s and-one conversion ignited a 7-0 Minnesota run in the late fourth quarter that knocked the gap down to four points, but Las Vegas responded with its final surge — again capped on a Hamby basket in the paint.
–Field Level Media