Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Fever – Game 26

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (19-7) | Indiana Fever (5-19)



The Las Vegas Aces tipped off in Indiana against the Fever with hopes of finishing the road trip with a 2-1 record. In order to do so, they’d have to without the services of Dearica Hamby, who was out with an injury after rolling her ankle in Thursday’s win over the Atlanta Dream.



Aces vs Fever
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

It was the “Mitchell” show early on for the Indiana Fever, with Kelsey and Tiffany scoring eight of the team’s first ten points. Conversely, all five of the Aces’ starters got onto the board by the midway point of the quarter. The two benches would get involved after the media timeout. Jantel Lavender downed a deep two-pointer upon her entrance from the bench, and Kelsey Plum drove down the left side of the lane for a layup — her first field goal since the game against Connecticut. Plum succeeded her lefty layup with another, following Chelsea Gray’s second catch-and-shoot three of the quarter. However, Jackie Young’s buzzer-beating mid-ranger to end the quarter highlighted a 7-0 sprint over the final 45 seconds of the opening frame.

Another 7-0 run at the start of the quarter extended Vegas’ lead from 10 to 17, and the Aces suddenly could not miss from the floor. In Dearica Hamby’s absence, Ji-Su Park logged some early minutes on this afternoon, instantly filling the stat-sheet with an assist, a bucket, and a block in her first few possessions on the court. Gray’s third three blew the game open and put the visiting Aces up 43-21. After a timeout, however, the Fever responded to the Aces’ run with a 6-2 spurt of their own, carried by Lindsay Allen and Kelsey Mitchell — leading to Bill Laimbeer burning a timeout. Both teams rotated between strong defense and occasional offense for the remainder of the quarter, ultimately leaving Las Vegas with a 50-31 lead at the half.

Aces vs Fever
Photo Credit: WNBA

The hometown product, Jackie Young, scored her 12th point of the game to kick things off for Vegas in half No. 2, and then Riquna Williams added five points of her own to give the Aces a 59-34 lead. Kelsey Mitchell continued to try and keep the game respectable, scoring a three-pointer to narrow the gap, but the Fever just had no answer for anything that Vegas was doing on offense. A’ja Wilson bullied her way to the rim, and Gray pulled up uncontested from the mid-range, giving Vegas their largest lead of the afternoon (26). But as they did throughout the first half, Indiana fought back. Tierra McGowan established her physicality on the offensive end after Liz Cambage got some rest, and a string of Fever threes narrowed their deficit around 18 points.

Indiana gave the ball away on their first two possessions and would continue to do so through the first few minutes of the quarter. The Aces capitalized — Plum hit a three from the wing and then pushed in transition to find a sprinting Ji-Su Park for a layup. Laimbeer would deploy a mostly-bench unit over the game’s final six minutes as the Aces led comfortably. Indiana trimmed the Aces’ lead to as few as 12, but the outcome was never in doubt down the stretch. Vegas finished their three-game road trip with an 87-71 win over the Fever.



Bench Production – Las Vegas only saw one player (Dearica Hamby) produce points from off the bench in Thursday’s win in Atlanta. With Hamby unable to play against Indiana due to an injury, the Aces received many contributions across their second unit. Plum scored 14, Ji-Su Park scored eight, and Kiah Stokes pulled down eight rebounds.

Three-Pointers – It’s well-known that the Aces aren’t a three-point heavy team, so it’s always fun when they get a few to drop. Behind Chelsea Gray’s three makes, Las Vegas finished the game 7-12 from beyond the arc.



Turnovers – The only thing that kept this game from being a complete blowout from start to finish was the fact that the Aces couldn’t take care of the ball. Every time they were on the brink of breaking the game open, a turnover or two would get the Fever out in transition, enabling them to make a few mini runs to hang around. Ultimately, it didn’t matter. But the game grew frustrating to watch as Vegas wouldn’t land the knockout punch.


The Aces return to Michelob Ultra Arena on Thursday, September 2nd to face the Chicago Sky. Follow the action live on NBATV at 7:00 p.m. PST, and remember to check back for the next recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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