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A’ja Wilson dominates as Aces knock off Sky

May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A’ja Wilson collected 22 points and a career high-tying 16 rebounds to lift the visiting Las Vegas Aces to an 83-76 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday afternoon.

Kelsey Plum scored 14 of her 19 points in the first half and Cheslea Gray added a season-high 18 points for the Aces (8-1), who have won six in a row. Las Vegas hasn’t lost since dropping an 89-76 decision to the Washington Mystics on May 10.

Dearica Hamby recorded 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Aces, who won despite shooting 36.9 percent from the floor and 20 percent (4 for 20) from 3-point range.

Chicago (4-3), however, had its own troubles from 3-point range. The Sky misfired on 18 straight attempts from beyond the arc at one point and finished at 16.1 percent (5 for 31) for the game.

Courtney Vandersloot and Kahleah Copper each scored 12 points and two-time WNBA MVP Candace Parker added 11 for Chicago. Rebekah Gardner also had 11 points for the Sky.

Despite the Sky’s shooting woes, they were able to trim an 18-point deficit down to four after Allie Quigley made three free throws with 1:08 to play. The teams traded baskets before Hamby sank an uncontested layup and Plum made a driving lay-in and free throw to seal the win.

Ruthy Hebard converted a layup to forge a 29-29 tie with 7:27 to play in the second quarter before Gray sank three straight free throws to ignite a 10-0 run for Las Vegas. The Aces boosted their lead to 51-38 at halftime, with the quartet of Plum, Gray, Wilson and Hamby scoring all but one of the team’s points.

Wilson made a short jumper and Western Conference Player of the Week Jackie Young buried a 3-pointer to boost Las Vegas’ lead to 18 begin the third quarter.

Chicago cut that advantage in half with a spirited 9-0 run that was capped by a pair of free throws from Li Yueru, who was making her WNBA debut. Gray, however, scored the Aces’ final six points of the third quarter to give her team a 66-53 lead.

Layups by Emma Meesseman and Parker and a 3-pointer by Vandersloot trimmed the Sky’s deficit to eight with 6:35 to play, however Wilson halted the momentum with a 16-foot jumper.

–Field Level Media