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Efficient Aces win 3rd of season against lowly Lynx

Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; The WNBA logo on a ball during the fourth quarter of game one of the WNBA finals between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

All five starters scored in double figures Friday night as the Las Vegas Aces stayed atop the WNBA’s Western Conference with a 91-85 win over the Minnesota Lynx in Minneapolis.

Chelsea Gray hit 10 of 12 shots from the field and scored 21 points to pace Las Vegas (15-5), while Kelsey Plum continued her breakout season with 18 points and 10 assists. Dearica Hamby added 16 points and A’ja Wilson chipped in a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Jackie Young finished with 10 points, including a corner 3-pointer with 1:19 left in the game that polished off a game-clinching 14-5 spurt that gave the Aces an insurmountable 89-81 lead. Las Vegas sank 51.4 percent from the field and drew 25 assists on 36 made baskets.

Rachel Banham came off the bench to can six 3-pointers and score a game-high 24 points for Minnesota (6-15), which fell to 1-1 on a six-game homestand. Moriah Jefferson added 20 points and Sylvia Fowles hit for 12 on 6-for-7 shooting, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Lynx’s third loss to the Aces this season.

Minnesota lost despite converting 11 of 25 3-pointers and erasing a 13-point halftime deficit to take a brief fourth-quarter edge.

Las Vegas controlled most of the first half, using big runs in each quarter to build a 46-33 halftime lead. The Aces established a 15-2 advantage at the 3:29 mark of the first period on two foul shots by Plum before settling for a 19-13 margin going to the second quarter.

Minnesota hacked a nine-point deficit down to 33-31 when Jefferson canned a 12-footer in the lane with 3:31 left in the half, but Las Vegas went off in the final 3:17. Plum drilled a corner 3-pointer to initiate a 13-2 run that Young finished with a 3-pointer.

However, the Lynx made a move late in the third quarter. Trailing by 10 after Plum sank a foul shot, they got a spark from Banham, who capped an 11-point period with a 3-pointer that helped Minnesota close within 69-61 going to the fourth period.

–Field Level Media