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Aces pull away to hand Fever 13th straight loss

Sportsnaut
Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A game ball waits on a sanitation cart during game 1 of the WNBA finals between the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum each scored 22 points Friday night as the Las Vegas Aces shrugged off a sloppy start for an easy 93-72 win over the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis.

Las Vegas (21-8) also got 15 points from Jackie Young. The Aces canned 52.8 percent of their field goal attempts and also dominated the boards to the tune of 41-28, grabbing nearly as many offensive rebounds (15) as Indiana claimed defensive boards (19).

Rookie Queen Egbo scored 13 points to pace the Fever (5-26), but it wasn’t enough to keep them from dropping their 13th consecutive game. Kelsey Mitchell and rookie Destanni Henderson added 12 points apiece. It was Henderson’s first double-figure performance since May.

Familiar troubles — making shots and stopping opponents from scoring at will — plagued Indiana in its latest loss. The Fever sank only 36.8 percent from the field, going 7 of 28 on 3-pointers. Second-leading scorer NaLyssa Smith converted just 3 of 13 shots to finish with nine points, although she did haul in a game-high 10 rebounds.

Indiana led briefly in the first quarter and stayed close to Las Vegas as the Aces coughed up a spate of early turnovers. They had five in the first seven minutes, yet still opened up a 22-15 lead after the period as Chelsea Gray made a pullup jumper in the lane with 9.8 seconds left.

Mitchell’s transition layup at the 7:21 mark of the second quarter drew the Fever within 25-24. They were still within eight points late in the half when Las Vegas created some serious separation. Plum’s layup with 0.4 seconds on the clock sent the Aces to the locker room with a 54-37 advantage.

Any chances of an Indiana comeback disappeared when it went scoreless for the first 3:28 of the third quarter. The deficit reached as high as 24 before the Fever managed to crawl within 76-59 going to the fourth period.

The teams finish a two-game series on Sunday.

–Field Level Media