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Las Vegas Aces survive Washington Mystics’ fourth-quarter run to win

Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson (22) attempts a lay up during game one of the WNBA finals against the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Despite an incredible fourth-quarter run by the Washington Mystics, the Las Vegas Aces escaped with a 96-93 victory on Saturday.

The Aces improved to 7-3, winning five of their last six games, and now own the third-best record in the WNBA. As for Washington, its second consecutive loss drops the record to 2-5.

Liz Cambage led Las Vegas with 24 points and 11 rebounds, with Jackie Young contributing 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals. The win might have come at a cost for the Aces, with exiting in the final minute due to a knee injury

Riquna Williams recorded 20 points connecting on four of her team’s six 3-pointers adding four rebounds and two steals. A’Ja Wilson scored 15 points despite shooting a season-low 21% from the field while adding a season-high 15 rebounds.

Myisha Hines-Allen, in her fourth game this season, finished with a game-high 32 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Ariel Atkins posted 29 points, four assists and two steals while Tina Charles had 16 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

The Mystics took the early advantage in the game, leading 29-24 after the first quarter. Myisha Hines-Allen fueled the early lead, scoring 10 points in the opening period. While Las Vegas trailed early, Riquna Williams’s 12 points kept the contest close.

The second quarter saw Liz Cambage begin to assert herself offensively scoring 14 points of her 16 first-half points in the period. Myisha-Hines Allen scored 11 points ending the half with 21 points hitting the final shot to give the Mystics a 57-56 lead at halftime.

The first half saw Riquna Williams, Liz Cambage and Jackie Young combine for 43 of the Aces’ 56 first-half points.

The Aces’ defense picked up in the second half not allowing a single score in the paint for the Mystics compared to the first half allowing 32 points in the paint. This allowed them to take a 90-77 lead with 4:11 remaining in the fourth quarter.

However, the Mystics began to catch fire from beyond the arc with Myisha Hines-Allen and Ariel Atkins hitting three 3-pointers as part of a 13-0 run to tie the game up with 60 seconds left in the game.

Wilson helped the Aces take back the lead with a putback layup off an offensive rebound. The Aces cashed in on free-throw attempts late, securing the victory.