The Las Vegas Aces crushed the short-handed Phoenix Mercury in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs, owing big time to the collective 37 points of Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray. They bested Diamond DeShields’ 18 points and eight rebounds, Brianna Turner’s 16 rebounds, and Gustafson’s 12 points.
Plum scored 22 points while Gray scored 17 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Gray rattled the Mercury’s defense in the final quarter, making two free throws and a 3-pointer.
The Nine Points
The Aces went into the second round, finishing the first round with a one-point lead on the board. In the second quarter, however, they extended their lead to five, but in the third quarter, they evened the score at 9-9. Meanwhile, Gray’s nine points in the final quarter helped the Aces win 79-63.
Besides Plum and Gray, Jackie Young scored 16 points, and A’ja Wilson slammed eight points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Meanwhile, Kiah Stokes also claimed eight points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
Shey Peddy Sustained a Non-contact Injury
The Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith less Mercury, unfortunately, lost another starter, Shey Peddy, in the third quarter of the game. She was carried out of the court with 2:03 minutes remaining on the clock when she sustained a non-contact injury. Her teammates got emotional when she left the floor for the locker room with a towel on her face.
In the third quarter, we saw offensive struggles for both teams. Phoenix and Las Vegas both missed nine and seven consecutive attempts, respectively, resulting in a total of seven points for the clubs in the first six minutes. Meanwhile, Wilson put the Aces in the driving seat of the game with a score of 55-51, making the first field goal with 7:15 remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter.
Now the Aces are sitting at the top of the Western Conference standings, having won 26 games out of 36 encounters. This was the Aces’ fourth consecutive victory in front of a 73% audience at Michelob ULTRA Arena, Las Vegas.