Video Credit: WNBA

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Sparks – Game 16

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (12-4) | Los Angeles Sparks (6-9)



In Chelsea Gray’s and Riquna Williams’ return to Los Angeles after earning a championship in their years in purple and gold, six players reached double figures for the Las Vegas Aces en route to a 99-75 blowout at the Los Angeles Convention Center over the Sparks.




Aces vs Sparks
Photo Credit: WNBA

Amanda Zahui B. scored the first eight points for the Sparks, including two three-pointers, as L.A. went up 10-8 early on, but Jackie Young scored seven on of the first eight for Vegas on the other end. Riquna Williams gave the Aces its first lead when she nailed a three courtesy of Liz Cambage, and Dearica Hamby checked in from the bench and immediately impacted both ends of the court. Meanwhile, the Sparks would miss 10 out of 13 shots while committing multiple turnovers during a first-quarter stretch that saw Young and the Aces close on a 17-4 run. After that, Vegas took a 28-19 lead.

Los Angeles began the quarter with another turnover, though the Aces were unable to convert. The game bogged down for most of the first half of the quarter as lots of fouls and turnovers kept the score relatively low until Williams put a halt to all of the sloppiness with back-to-back threes, and before long, the

Aces vs Sparks
Photo Credit: WNBA

Aces’ lead had blossomed to 19. Brittney Sykes provided lots of defensive energy and effort while contributing some hard-earned points when given a chance. Yet, the Sparks couldn’t cut into the Las Vegas lead in any significant way. Newly acquired Lauren Cox sunk a pair of free throws at the end of the half to cut into Vegas’ lead, but aside from Amanda Zahui B.’s 18 first-half points, there wasn’t a ton that went right for the Sparks through the first 20 minutes. The Aces went into the half up 56-37.

Early offense was the key for Vegas after intermission, and A’ja Wilson and Chelsea Gray took advantage of some early offensive opportunities. Zahui B. continued to be a bright spot for the Sparks during the third quarter, and Te’a Cooper joined in on the offensive side. Still, L.A. saw themselves hovering around a 20-point deficit for the majority of the third. Finally, Kelsey Plum earned baskets on back-to-back attacks to the rim by scoring over outstretched arms of Sparks defenders, giving the Aces an 80-59 lead as the third quarter ended.

Riquna Williams knocked down a wing three to open up the scoring for the Aces, but the scoring and production slid from there. Bria Holmes and Te’a Cooper had nice moments during the extended garbage time, and Vegas was able to get Ji-Su Park and Destiny Slocum some bonus minutes. Then, Kelsey Plum, Dearica Hamby, and Jackie Young put the finishing touches on the 99-point offensive explosion, and the Aces put away the Sparks 99-75.



Three-Point Shooting – When you look at the team’s final stat line from the night, you’ll see that the Aces shot 7 of 22 from downtown. No, that’s not necessarily an efficient shooting night, but both of those numbers stand out for different reasons. Whenever the Aces can make seven three-pointers, it’s a plus once you consider the dominance of their frontcourt. But the fascinating number is 22, their second-most attempts from distance so far this season. Regardless of the makes, it’s a good sign that this team is comfortable getting them up.



Turnovers – Although the Aces won quite easily, they’ll look back at this game and be upset with the number of turnovers that they committed. Their 16 turnovers tied a season-high and marked the 13th time this season that they’ve entered double-digits in that department. I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it, Vegas won’t survive the playoffs being careless with the basketball.


The Aces stay in Los Angeles for a Friday night rematch against the Sparks on July 2nd. Tune into CBS Sports Network at 7:00 p.m. to follow the action live, and remember to check back for the next recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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