The Las Vegas Aces (12-1) prevailed 101-88 in a hard-fought battle over the Indiana Fever (5-8) on Saturday evening at Michelob ULTRA Arena.
Led by A’ja Wilson’s 28 points, all five starters scored in double figures for the Aces. Kelsey Plum scored 26, Candace Parker tallied 15, Chelsea Gray had 13 and Jackie Young chipped in 10. Both Gray and Wilson notched double-doubles with Gray dishing out 12 assists and Wilson grabbing 10 caroms.
The Fever, who had won four of their past six games, were led by 26 points and 11 rebounds from NaLyssa Smith and 18 points from Aliyah Boston. Las Vegas and Indiana are back in Michelob ULTRA Monday night at 7 pm PT.
First Quarter (Las Vegas 27, Indiana 20)
With the score knotted at 12-all, Wilson was fouled on a putback, then made her free throw to put the Aces up 15-12 at 5:02, and they never trailed again. Wilson scored a quarter-high 9 points, while Boston had 8. The Aces shot 61.1% from the field and an even 60% from 3-point range in the quarter, and its defense held Indiana to 47.1% from the floor and 33.3% from beyond the arc.
Second Quarter (Las Vegas 57, Indiana 43)
The Aces, who capped the first quarter on a 4-0 spurt, scored the first five points of the second to go up by 12 early, 32-20. Indiana closed the gap to 5 points, 38-33, with 4:47 to go before the half. Three quick 3s in less than a minute in a 9-2 spurt by the Aces gave them some breathing room, 47-35, with 3:30 on the clock. The Fever were unable to get any closer than 9 points as the Aces closed the half with the 14-point lead. Plum was perfect (3-3 FGs, 2-2 3Gs, 2-2 FTs) in the quarter for 10 points, while Wilson had 9.
Third Quarter (Las Vegas 78, Indiana 64)
The Las Vegas lead ballooned to 20 points, 63-43, within the first minute of the second half. With the Aces still up 20, 70-50, the Fever reeled off 9 unanswered points to cut the gap to 70-59. The Aces stopped the surge with a Plum 3-pointer, as the 2022 All-Star MVP recorded yet another double-digit quarter, finishing with 12 points on 5-of-9 from the field.
Fourth Quarter (Las Vegas 101, Indiana 88)
The Fever were whistled for 10 infractions and the Aces took advantage, hitting 10-of-12 attempts from the line in the period, compared to the Fever’s 2-of-2 on 4 Aces fouls. The Fever won the fourth quarter 24-23, but never got closer than 11. Smith scored a quarter-high 10 points for the Fever and Wilson had 9 for the Aces.
The Aces shot 53.1% (34-64 FGs) from the field and 47.8% (11-23 3pt FGs) from behind the arc, while the Fever hit an even 50% (34-68 FGs) of their field goal attempts but just 37.5% (6-16 3pt FGs) from 3-point.
The Aces scored 22 points on 27 tries from the charity stripe, while Indiana notched 14 points on 15 attempts as the Aces committed 14 fouls to the Fever’s 22.
Wilson, who was 1-of-2 from 3-point range in her first 4 seasons and was 31-of-83 from afar in 2022, hit her first 3-pointer of the 2023 campaign at 7:52 in the first period.
Parker scored a season-high 15 points (13 at Atlanta on June 2).
Wilson scored a season-high 28 points (27 at Indiana on June 4).
Plum scored a season-high 26 points (23 at Seattle on May 20).
Gray’s double-double was the 7th points-assists double-double of her career and 2nd of the season. The 12 assists also marked a season high (10 against Minnesota on May 28).
The Aces increased their scoring average to 93.2 points per game, which would be the highest scoring average in franchise history should they maintain it. Only the 2010 (93.9 ppg.) and 2009 (92.8 ppg.) Phoenix Mercury have averaged more in a season.
Wilson notched the 62nd double-double of her career and the 8th of the season.
Las Vegas is now outscoring opponents by 15.9 points on the year which is the largest scoring differential through 13 games in WNBA history
The Aces have scored 90+ points in all but two contests in 2023.
Riquna Williams did not dress for the Aces (lower back).
The Aces remain at home for their next three games, including the second of back-to-back contests against the Indiana Fever on June 26. Tip-off is at 7 pm PT and the game is being broadcast on the Silver State Sports & Entertainment Network and CBS Sports Network, and airing on the radio at ESPN Las Vegas 100.9 FM and 1100 AM.
Monday marks the third meeting of the year between the clubs. Las Vegas erased a double-digit fourth-quarter road deficit on June 5 to upend Indiana 84-80. Wilson’s 27-point, 10-rebound double-double paced the Aces. Boston found herself in foul trouble early, as Las Vegas held her to seven points and four rebounds.