Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Mystics – Game 23

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (17-6) | Washington Mystics (8-12)



The Las Vegas Aces laced ’em up at Michelob Ultra Arena to face the Washington Mystics for the second time in around a 48-hour span with hopes of completing a 3-0 sweep of the Mystics on the season.




Aces vs Mystics
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Without the first-game-back rust, the Aces got off to a much cleaner start than they had on Sunday afternoon by executing on both of their opening possessions and converting on two shot attempts. Once again, Tina Charles was the driving force for the Mystics early on, scoring half of Washington’s points through the first five minutes of play. Ariel Atkins nailed her first three-pointer after five attempts to nod the score at 11 apiece. However, a transition pull-up three from Riquna Williams highlighted a 7-0 Vegas run to bring the score to 18-11. From there, Washington crept back into the game following a string of Aces turnovers and missed shots — finishing the quarter trailing Vegas 23-21.

The Mystics’ first four points of the second quarter were scored at the foul line before Charles drained a pick-and-pop jumper. A pair of threes got the Aces going on the other end of the court with Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray being the suppliers. The Aces’ lead grew to as many as four points until three straight turnovers allowed the Mystics to tie the game, with Shatori Walker-Kimbrough earning two uncontested fastbreak layups. Five turnovers, at the end of the first quarter, grew to 11 at the 2:40 mark of the second frame as Mystics turned it into ten fastbreak points. Charles drilled her third and fourth three-pointers on consecutive possessions and middy as time expired to give the Mystics the momentum and an eight-point lead at the half. 

A quick 11-2 burst out of the half, powered by Liz Cambage’s seven points, put the Aces’ back on top 52-51 to begin the third. Not to be outshined, Ariel Atkins responded with three jumpers to give Washington a six-point edge before five Kelsey Plum points brought Vegas’ deficit to one point. She then followed it up with a right-handed drive and score at the rim to retake the lead heading into the final quarter.

Picking up where she left off, Plum downed a triple to begin the quarter, and Dearica Hamby followed it with a driving layup as the Aces’ lead grew to six. The two teamed up for a few more buckets to keep the Aces’ lead at eight before Cambage and Wilson re-entered the game. Both teams went back and forth earning and trading some tightly-contested baskets but Washington could never quite close the gap. A’ja Wilson scooped in a right-handed layup en route to a 19-point 13-rebound game before Kelsey Plum hit a dagger three-pointer to help the Aces to a 3-0 sweep of the Washington Mystics.



Bench Production – Kelsey Plum and Dearica Hamby teamed up to score 32 points off the bench, with a big second half from both players. A particular stretch at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth extended the Vegas lead while allowing Liz Cambage and A’ja Wilson to earn some extra rest.



Turnovers Las Vegas came out of the gates hot and built up a seven-point lead in the opening quarter, but finished the first frame up only two because of turnovers. The errors were largely self-inflicted, too. Plenty of passes sailed out of bunds with not an Ace inside but fortunately were dead-ball turnovers. The trend continued in the second quarter. The Aces grew a lead but would see it slip away due to consecutive turnovers.

Defense – There are two things to uncover here. Firstly, Vegas couldn’t figure out a way to slow down a superstar big (Tina Charles), which has usually been the case in their losses — think Griner, Jonquel Jones, and Fowles.

Second, the Aces weren’t aggressive on the defensive end. They only forced the Mystics into committing one first-half turnover but did pick it up in the second half.


The Aces will go a week without a game before a Tuesday evening meeting with the Connecticut Sun in Uncansville on August 24th. Follow the action live on ESPN3 at 4 p.m. PT, and make sure to catch the next recap here at Franchise Sports Media.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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