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Record-setting Aces visit struggling Mystics

Jun 4, 2023; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) shoots the ball while Indiana Fever center Queen Egbo (4) defends in the second half at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Even when they aren’t playing their best basketball, the Las Vegas Aces have found ways to get the job done.

After a record-setting win on Thursday, the Aces will continue their road trip Saturday against a Washington Mystics club fighting to stay in a playoff spot.

The Aces became the first WNBA team to win 30 games in a single season by coming from 16 points down to beat the host Chicago Sky 94-87. The previous record was 29 wins by the 2014 Phoenix Mercury — and the Aces still have six games left in the regular season to build on their total.

Las Vegas (30-4) allowed the Sky to shoot 54.1 percent in the first half to fall behind 50-37. Kelsey Plum, who shot 0-for-4 from 3-point range in the first half, canned 4 of 6 attempts in the third quarter alone to help the Aces claw back in it before they eventually took the lead for good during the fourth.

“We also know that that’s not something that we can play with, especially coming into the last two games on this road trip, Washington and New York,” Plum said postgame. “If we play like that versus Washington and New York we will lose the game.”

Three Aces players had double-doubles: Jackie Young (24 points, 10 rebounds), Chelsea Gray (19 points, 10 assists) and A’ja Wilson (18 points, 10 rebounds). Plum added 23 points.

The Mystics (15-18) have been off since Tuesday’s 68-64 loss to the Connecticut Sun. They’ve dropped five of their last seven to slip to the No. 7 seed in the playoffs entering Friday’s action; only the top eight teams make the postseason.

Two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne has missed the past two games with a right hip injury after recently returning from an ankle sprain. She practiced this week, but her game status is up in the air.

The Mystics do have starters Shakira Austin and Ariel Atkins back in the fold after missing several weeks with injuries. Atkins has averaged 12.0 points in 22 games this year.

“It’s just really good to have her back in the lineup, have another defensive disrupter, another scoring option on the offensive end,” teammate Natasha Cloud said, per NBC Sports Washington.

These teams met for the first time this year on Aug. 11 in Las Vegas, when Wilson went for 40 points on 17-of-25 shooting in a 113-89 Aces victory.

–Field Level Media

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