Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Mercury – Game 7

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces 6-1)  |  Phoenix Mercury (2-4)



The Las Vegas Aces used a dominant third quarter to put the game out of reach and cruise to a 100-80 win over the Phoenix Mercury.



If you didn’t already know, you would have a hard time comprehending that the Phoenix Mercury got the best of the Las Vegas Aces in a five-game series just nine months ago to earn a spot in the 2021 WNBA Finals. For the third time in seven games, the Aces handed the Mercury a beatdown to start the 2022 season, and the two squads appear to be trending in opposite directions.

It’s hard to blame the Mercury for their unspectacular 2-4 start to the 26th WNBA season. They still have to be mentally strong enough to live life, compete, and play professional basketball at the highest level. At the same time, their beloved Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained in Russia. That loss is felt on the court as Phoenix tries to incorporate new players like Tina Charles into the mix and new head coach Vanessa Nygaard. Wrinkles are still being ironed out, and that is evident — you don’t usually see things like this happen on the sidelines:

Similar wrinkles exist but aren’t nearly as pronounced or visible for Las Vegas, leading Phoenix by as many as 28 points in its nationally televised blowout on Saturday. And much of what’s worked all season long in Aces victories were again present — collective scoring, 3-point shooting, and scoring off of forced turnovers. And all of those strengths appeared over the second quarter, especially the third.


Aces vs. Mercury
Photo Credit: Louis Grasse/Franchise Sports Media

“Obviously, (in) the second and third quarters, we really buckled down defensively,” said head coach Becky Hammon following the win. “I’ve been preaching the whole time when (that) we can play out of our defense, and we can be very dangerous.”

“I think we were a little complacent in the first half,” said Kelsey Plum. “We know we had to step up our defensive intensity, first half and second half. We had to be better.”

The Aces‘ two-point halftime lead ballooned to 22 points by the quarter’s end, thanks to a 38-18 third-quarter win. Vegas made four 3-pointers and ten free throws in the frame, scored 16 points in the paint, and turned Phoenix‘s five turnovers into eight points. And the outcome of this third quarter rivaled that of the second MercuryAces matchup, resulting in Vegas outscoring Phoenix 30 to 12, where the game was ultimately won.

Winning continues to be a thing for Vegas, and its offense continues to be a nightmare for opposing teams to bottle up. Part of the nightmare that the Aces present is their attack from beyond the arc. They put in nine from deep on Saturday, which marked the fifth time in seven games that they hit that mark and something they accomplished only three times in the 2021 season. The other part of the nightmare is how dispersed the Aces’ offensive attack is. They finished Saturday’s win with five players scoring in double figures, which is the sixth time this season — all wins.

“We like each other, and we like playing with each other,” said Plum. “I think that matters a lot, especially in this league. The best teams have chemistry, and they’ve been through the trenches together.”

“How do you scout us?” asked Chelsea Gray when speaking on the team’s scoring versatility. “That makes a huge difference when you go into august and September when you’ve seen these teams a couple of times, and you see their actions. Our versatility allows us to do that.”


The Aces are back at it on Monday, May 23rd, when they host Liz Cambage and the Los Angeles Sparks. Follow the game live at 7 p.m. PST and check back with us for a game recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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