Efficient Aces win 3rd of season against lowly Lynx

All five starters scored in double figures Friday night as the Las Vegas Aces took sole possession of first place in the WNBA with a 91-85 win over the Minnesota Lynx in Minneapolis.

Chelsea Gray hit 10 of 12 shots from the field and scored 21 points to pace Las Vegas (15-5), while Kelsey Plum continued her breakout season with 18 points and 10 assists. Dearica Hamby added 16 points and A’ja Wilson chipped in a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.

Jackie Young finished with 10 points, including a corner 3-pointer with 1:19 left in the game that polished off a game-clinching 14-5 spurt that gave the Aces an insurmountable 89-81 lead. Las Vegas sank 51.4 percent from the field and drew 25 assists on 36 made baskets.

Rachel Banham came off the bench to can six 3-pointers and score a game-high 24 points for Minnesota (6-15), which fell to 1-1 on a six-game homestand. Moriah Jefferson added 20 points and Sylvia Fowles hit for 12 on 6-for-7 shooting, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Lynx’s third loss to the Aces this season.

Minnesota lost despite converting 11 of 25 3-pointers and erasing a 13-point halftime deficit to take a brief fourth-quarter edge.

Las Vegas controlled most of the first half, using big runs in each quarter to build a 46-33 halftime lead. The Aces established a 15-2 advantage at the 3:29 mark of the first period on two foul shots by Plum before settling for a 19-13 margin going to the second quarter.

Minnesota hacked a nine-point deficit down to 33-31 when Jefferson canned a 12-footer in the lane with 3:31 left in the half, but Las Vegas went off in the final 3:17. Plum drilled a corner 3-pointer to initiate a 13-2 run that Young finished with a 3-pointer.

However, the Lynx made a move late in the third quarter. Trailing by 10 after Plum sank a foul shot, they got a spark from Banham, who capped an 11-point period with a 3-pointer that helped Minnesota close within 69-61 going to the fourth period.

–Field Level Media

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