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A’ja Wilson fuels Aces’ road romp against Liberty

Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Las Vegas Aces center A'ja Wilson (22) plays defense during game 1 of the WNBA finals against the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

A’Ja Wilson scored 25 points in three quarters as the visiting Las Vegas Aces started fast, never let up and cruised to a 108-74 rout of the New York Liberty on Thursday afternoon.

Wilson scored 20 points in the first half as the Aces scored a league-record 71 points for an opening half, just two shy of the WNBA record for points in any half set by the Liberty in Tuesday’s second half against Las Vegas.

Wilson made 10 of 15 shots as the Aces (17-7) won consecutive games for the first time since a four-game winning streak from June 5-19.

Kelsey Plum added 21 for the top-scoring team in the WNBA. The Aces entered the game averaging 90.6 points and scored at least 100 points for the sixth time this year and third straight game against the Liberty.

Chelsea Gray finished with 16 and Riquna Williams contributed 13 as Las Vegas led by as many as 39 points, shot 53.5 percent from the field and hit 16 of 21 attempts from 3-point range (76.2 pecent).

The Aces took the final two meetings after New York claimed a 116-107 win on July 6 in Las Vegas in the highest-scoring game in WNBA history.

Natasha Howard totaled 19 points and nine rebounds for the Liberty (9-15), who lost for the fifth time in six games and allowed their most points in team history. Michaela Onyenwere added 14 points for New York, which shot 34.9 percent and saw Sabrina Ionescu struggle offensively in the first of three straight early tip-offs.

Ionescu was held to nine points on 1-of-8 shooting after scoring 21 of her 27 points in the second half of Tuesday’s 107-101 loss to Las Vegas.

The Aces scored the game’s first 12 points and made their first 10 shots when Wilson’s 10-footer put them ahead 24-9 with 4:43 remaining. Las Vegas took its first 20-point lead when Plum hit a 3-pointer for a 29-9 edge a little over a minute later and held a 37-13 lead after shooting a blistering 77.8 percent (14 of 18) in the quarter.

The lead expanded to 49-21 with 6:18 left in the half after Wilson hit consecutive jumpers. Vegas opened a 58-26 lead on Dearica Hamby’s putback with 3:22 left and took a 71-36 lead at halftime when Plum hit a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining.

–Field Level Media