Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Mercury – Semifinals Game 3

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (1-2)  |  Phoenix Mercury (2-1)



The Las Vegas Aces fell in Game 3 of the WNBA Semifinals to the Phoenix Mercury in front of a raucous Tempe crowd. Phoenix put the clamps on the Aces’ superstars and held the team to just 60 points total. Brianna Turner’s 23 points and 17 rebounds led the way for the Mercury as they took a 2-1 series lead. 




Aces vs Mercury
Photo Credit: Bleacher Report

A Game 1 and 2 theme spilled over to the start of Game 3, which was the Phoenix Mercury jumping on top of the Aces early behind the dominance of Diana Taurasi. Taurasi’s two three-pointers and two layups from Brianna Turner gave the Mercury a 10-0 lead through the game’s first two minutes. Dearica Hamby entered quickly from the bench to get Las Vegas on the board as her four points temporarily slowed the Phoenix momentum. Yet, the Brianna Turner show rolled on throughout the first quarter, with some guest appearances from Shey Peddy and Brittney Griner. Liz Cambage hit a trail three-pointer to beat the first-quarter buzzer, but Phoenix still held a 26-19 lead after one.

Sophie Cunningham went coast-to-coast for an easy layup in the opening moments of the second quarter but exited shortly after coming up gimpy. Meanwhile, Turner subbed back into the game and got right back to buckets. Kelsey Plum and Liz Cambage scored the next six points for the Aces to bring the score to 35-27 midway through the quarter. However, Vegas went cold and struggled to find offense, totaling just four more points over the final 4:25 of the half while Turner and Phoenix blew the game wide open. The Mercury landed a few punches down the stretch and took a 15-point lead into the break behind Turner’s 17 first-half points.

The Aces tried to hang tough to begin the third quarter, but the Mercury quickly extended their lead to 20 points after a few Brittney Griner two-pointers. As was the case in Game 2, and even the regular season, Las Vegas had no answers for Griner’s screen setting — she continuously pick-and-popped her way to uncontested mid-range jumpers while the Aces’ bigs struggled to scramble and rotate. Riquna Williams heated up on the other end to help Vegas find their offense, but Griner remained unguardable. Soon, Taurasi would rejoin the fun and propel Phoenix to a 72-52 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The 4th quarter was garbage time. The Mercury sustained a 20+ point lead throughout as the Aces essentially threw in the towel — they scored just eight points in the quarter to Phoenix’s 15. Of the 15, Shey Peddy banked in a crowd-energizing “and-one” three-pointer to cap what was a dominant beginning-to-end victory for Phoenix in Game 3.




Aces vs Mercury
Photo Credit: WNBA

Offense – The Aces, the WNBA’s highest-scoring team during the season, were held to just 60 points in Game 3. The 60 points marked the season’s lowest total, and only two players reached double-figures in scoring.

Rebounding – From start to finish, Las Vegas was thoroughly out-worked and bullied. Phoenix grabbed 58 rebounds to the Aces’ 29, doubling Las Vegas’ output on the glass. Brianna Turner’s and Brittney Griner’s 28 combined rebounds almost matched the entire number that the Aces put up. If Game 4 is anything like Game 3, the second-seeded Aces will be making a premature exit from the playoffs.



The Aces will look to save their season when they battle Phoenix on Wednesday, October 6th in Game 4 of the WNBA Semifinals. Tune into ESPN at 7:00 p.m. PST to follow the action live, and remember to check back here for the game recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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