Aces defeat Mystics behind career high 40 points from Wilson

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
The Las Vegas Aces improve to 26-3 on the season after defeating the Washington Mystics, 113-89.

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Aces came home after splitting their road trip to play a Washington Mystics team that they have not beat since 2020. They not only beat the Mystics 113-89 but and improved to 26-3 on the season behind a career high 40 point 12 rebound performance from A’ja Wilson.

A’ja Wilson led the Aces with a career high 40 points and 12 rebounds, while Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum had 19 points, Jackie Young finished with 17 points.

Natasha Cloud led the Mystics with 21 points, followed by Tianna Hawkins with 19 points and Myisha Hines-Allen added 15 points.

The Aces started the game off quickly establishing A’ja Wilson early and often who went onto to score a career high 40 points. In the first half the game would be played closely before the Aces came out firing in the third quarter to put the game away. Jackie Young got hot in the third quarter knocking down back to back threes to help open the game up. Kierstan Bell provided a spark for the Aces scoring 11 points off the bench and knocking down 3 three pointers. the bench scoring 11 points and knocking down 3 three pointers.The Aces went on to defeat the Mystics 113-89 with five players in double figures.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Wilson drops career high in points

Following a strong performance on her birthday the last time out, A’ja Wilson came out ready to put on an encore performance. Wilson got it going early in pick and roll game and also establishing her presence down low. At the half Wilson led the way for the Aces with 24 points on 10-14 shooting while grabbing 7 rebounds. In the second half Wilson kept her foot on the gas coming up with huge stops on defense and continuing her hot offensive shooting. A’ja Wilson finished with a new career high 40 points shooting 17-25 from the field and grabbing 12 rebounds.

“My teammates were finding me at my spots and I was just trying to make an impact and It just so happened to go in for me,” Wilson said. “I am more happy about the fact that it was in the flow of our system because I am surrounded by great players and they allow me to operate in my space and i want to be productive for them.”

Second half dominance

The game was tight at halftime, with the Aces ahead by single digits and two players in double figures. The second half was an entirely different scenario, with the Aces going on a scoring spree and pulling away. The Aces utilized their inside game to dominate and pull away in the second half, outscoring the Mystics 24-10 in the paint. Increasing their defensive intensity also helped the Aces pull away, forcing 8 turnovers and scoring 15 points off turnovers. The Mystics had 8 second chance points in the first half and in the second half the Aces held them to 0 second chance points.

“I think that in the fist half we didn’t do a great job on the boards, and when you give a team like that second chance opportunities layups at the the rim and open threes like that it’s gonna be a ballgame,” Plum said. “We were losing the paint and when you lose the paint its really hard to break open the game. I thought we did a much better job in the third.”

Kelsey Plum season high assist

Kelsey Plum ended the game with 19 points and 10 assists for her fourth career double-double and first of the season. Her 10 assists were a season best and her first ten assist game since July 1st of last season.

“When you talk about growth that is some growth right there and I am so proud of this girl,” Hammon said. “We talk about KP being a dawg but that is really her through and through every single day she is coming in and getting better.”

The Aces will be back in action Sunday when they take on the Dream with tip off set for 6 p.m. PT.