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Kelsey Plum, A’ja Wilson carry Aces to win over Sparks

Sportsnaut
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

Kelsey Plum scored 29 points and dished out five assists, A’ja Wilson added 25 points and 11 rebounds and the Las Vegas Aces earned a 79-73 win over the host Los Angeles Sparks on Monday.

Las Vegas (14-4) came into Monday’s contest having taken consecutive losses for the first time all season, and the Aces went the first 16-plus minutes without a lead at Los Angeles.

The Aces were on top by four at halftime, and neither team could gain a clear advantage in the second half. The Sparks struggled through 38.4 percent shooting from the floor on the night, while the Aces — who came in with five players averaging more than 12 points per game — had little scoring support for Plum and Wilson.

Las Vegas’ Dearica Hamby scored just three points on the night, more than 10 fewer than her season average, and shot just 1-for-4 from the floor. Her lone converted field goal proved key, however.

After Los Angeles (7-11) pulled within one on Lexie Brown’s fastbreak layup with 2:30 left — set up by one of Brittney Sykes’ game-high-matching seven assists — Hamby scored on a step-through move in the paint to push the lead back to three with 1:16 remaining.

Plum tacked on a pair of free throws, and the Las Vegas defense shut the Sparks down the rest of the way. Monday marked the first time since June 11 the Aces held an opponent to fewer than 84 points.

Nneka Ogwumike and Liz Cambage both recorded double-doubles for the Sparks. Ogwumike finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Cambage added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Sykes contributed a strong all-around performance, adding 10 points and seven rebounds to go with her assists. Brown’s 17 points off the bench marked a season high, aided by 5-of-8 shooting from 3-point range. The five treys were also Brown’s season best.

Las Vegas’ Jackie Young matched Sykes’ game-high assist total with seven and scored nine points but shot just 4-for-11 from the floor. Young came in shooting 50 percent from the floor on the season.

–Field Level Media