Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Mercury – Game 40 – 2023

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (34-6) | Phoenix Mercury (9-31)


The Las Vegas Aces got their league-record 34th win in a 100-85 victory over the Phoenix Mercury. 

The Aces vs Mercury played at the T-Mobile Arena on Sunday.

Aces vs Mercury | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A’ja Wilson made a final statement to repeat as the WNBA MVP with her sixth 30-point game, leading the defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces to finish the regular season with a 100-85 win over the Phoenix Mercury.

This was the 11th game this season that the Aces have scored 100+ points, which is a new WNBA record.

Wilson finished the contest with a staggering 36 points (13-of-18 FGs, 9-of-12 FTs), eight rebounds, five steals, and three blocks.

With this performance, Wilson extended her WNBA record for most 20+ point games in a season to 29. She now has 103 career games of 20 or more points, the 19th most in WNBA history.

Kelsey Plum was the Robin to Wilson’s Batman in this one, as Plum totaled 30 points (12-of-19 FGs, 6-of-11 3s) and two steals.

The Aces handled business against the Mercury

Playing in front of a franchise-record crowd of 17,406 fans at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas also received 21 points (8-of-11 FGs, 5-of-7 3s) and eight assists from Chelsea Gray.

It was the start of the Aces vs Mercury first half. 

Aces vs Mercury | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Mercury were led by Moriah Jefferson, who had 22 points (8-of-15 FGs, 4-of-8 3s), four rebounds, and six assists. Brittney Griner stepped up with 21 points (10-of-12 FGs). Sug Sutton also contributed 14 points (5-of-13 FGs, 4-of-7 3s), four rebounds, and six assists.

The Aces led early in the first quarter, 18-11, but the Mercury drained a pair of 3s in an 8-0 run to move in front 19-18 with 3:13 to go. 

With Las Vegas trailing 23-22, Gray drilled back-to-back 3s within 30 seconds, giving the Aces a five-point lead to close the first period. From there, the Aces never trailed again.

In the first quarter, the Mercury hit 58.8 percent of their shots, compared to Las Vegas’ 50 percent. Phoenix also made 42.9 percent from distance, and the Aces made 40 percent.

Las Vegas poured in 10-straight points over the final two and a half minutes of the second quarter to secure a 53-41 halftime lead. Wilson, who had eight of the Aces’ final 10 points of the period, scored 12. 

The Aces connected on 52.6 percent of their attempts from the field in the second quarter, while the Mercury cooled off to 42.1 percent.

The end of the Aces vs Mercury first half. 

Phoenix scored eight of the first 10 points coming out of halftime to slice the Las Vegas advantage to six. However, Plum and Gray combined to hit three 3s, pushing their lead to 64-49. 

The start of the Aces vs Mercury second half. 

Aces vs Mercury | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Aces led by at least double digits for the remainder of the contest. Las Vegas outscored the Mercury 30-18 in the third period, as the Aces netted 73.3 percent (11-of-15 FGs) from the field and 66.7 percent (6-of-9 3s) from beyond the arc while holding Phoenix to 35.3 percent (6-of-17 FGs) overall and 40 percent (4-of-19 3s) from 3-point range.

Las Vegas deployed their bench for most of the fourth quarter, and their lead never dipped below 12 points during the period. The Mercury shot 55.6 percent from the field in the final frame, and the Aces connected on 37.5 percent of their tries.

The 2023 Aces are the first team in WNBA history to have four players each average 15+ points per game: Wilson – 22.8, Plum – 18.7, Jackie Young – 17.6, and Gray – 15.3.

Gray, Plum, and Young should all be in consideration for All-WNBA honors. Las Vegas head coach Becky Hammon did a masterful job again during a historically great regular season that individual awards should be reflective of.

Phoenix finished a dismal last-place regular season with a franchise-record 11-game losing streak. They’ve now missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

The first-seeded Aces will play the eighth-seeded Chicago Sky in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.

The final score of the Aces vs Mercury was 100-85.

The Aces will now head into the playoffs, taking on the Chicago Sky on Wednesday, September 13th, at 7:00 p.m. PST.


– Jake Ideguchi-Furukawa – Franchise Sports Media

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