Kelsey Plum scored 30 points off the bench, including 13 in the final five minutes of the crucial third quarter, as the Las Vegas Aces edged closer to victory. 2nd place in the playoffs with an 85-75 victory over the Dallas Wings on Monday afternoon.
The Aces resisted a rough start and took control at the end of the third quarter, ultimately leading up to 13 points in the fourth before heading to the finish line.
Las Vegas (22-8) may not post the league’s best record – Connecticut nabbed that spot with their 12-game winning streak still on – but finishing second is almost as good in the WNBA’s playoff structure. .
The Aces will clinch the No. 2 seed, and the automatic double-knockout bye that accompanies that ranking, with a win in one of their last two games. Las Vegas ends the regular season on the road in Chicago on Friday and then in Phoenix on Sunday.
Plum scored all but four of his points in the second half. A’ja Wilson added 21 points and took 12 rebounds for Las Vegas, with Riquna Williams scoring 16 points. Vegas was missing center Liz Cambage, who was out for the fourth game in a row due to COVID protocol.
Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings (13-18) with 23 points while Allisha Gray added 15, Marina Mabrey scored 14 and Kayla Thornton scored 11. Dallas, who landed a playoff berth, played without injured point guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Satou Sabally as well as Isabelle Harrison, who is on COVID protocol.
Ogunbowale scored 11 of their points in the first eight minutes of the game and helped put the wings to a 29-19 lead after the first quarter. Dallas held on in the second period, taking a 45-36 halftime lead thanks to Ogunbowale’s 16 points, Gray’s 11s and 50 percent from team shots on the ground.
Wilson scored 14 points in the half and Williams scored 10 points to help the Aces stay in range despite 41.9% shots and a 20-14 deficit on the rebound.
Las Vegas turned the tide in the third quarter, with 59% shots in the period, topping the wings 25-12 and moving to a 61-57 lead. Dallas shot just 26 percent during the period and was 0-for-4 from beyond the arc.
– Field level media