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Kelsey Plum scores 24 as Aces rout Mercury

March 8, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Las Vegas Aces mascot Buckets and owner Mark Davis during the first half in the finals of the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kelsey Plum racked up 24 points and Jackie Young tallied 20 points as the Las Vegas Aces were buoyed by a huge third quarter to defeat the visiting Phoenix Mercury 100-80 on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea Gray and Dearica Hamby both added 13 points for the Aces (6-1), who won their fourth game in a row. Theresa Plaisance chipped in 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds off the bench.

Las Vegas pulled away from a 44-42 halftime lead to turn the game into a blowout, outscoring the Mercury 38-18 in the third quarter. Plum scored 15 points in the quarter.

Diamond DeShields had 19 points, Sophie Cunningham supplied 17 points and Diana Taurasi posted 14 points for Phoenix (2-4), which has lost three games in a row. DeShields led the team in scoring for the first time.

It was the second meeting in five days, with the Aces posting an 86-74 comeback victory Tuesday night in the same arena.

Las Vegas hit 47.9 percent of its shots from the field. The offense was aided by committing only nine turnovers. The Mercury shot 41.4 percent.

Phoenix shot 9-for-29 on 3-point attempts, while the Aces were 9-for-27. Plum had three of the 3s for Las Vegas. Cunningham made three 3-pointers off the Mercury bench as the team’s starters were a combined 5-for-22 on 3s.

The Aces outscored Phoenix 23-13 on free throws.

The Aces’ final point total marked the second-highest mark of the season, behind only the 106 points scored in the opener against the Mercury.

Phoenix played without guard Skylar Diggins-Smith because of a non-COVID illness. Diggins-Smith and Taurasi had a heated exchange in the game earlier in the week in Las Vegas.

The Mercury used only nine players Saturday, with two of them logging six minutes apiece.

–Field Level Media