Wilson’s career-high 40 points leads Aces past Washington

Courtesy: Las Vegas Aces
A'ja Wilson scored 40 points, a new career high, and tied the franchise scoring record.

LAS VEGAS — A’ja Wilson continued to make a case for MVP with a career-high 40 points while grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the Las Vegas Aces to a 113-89 home victory over the Washington Mystics.

The Aces improved to 14-0 at home this season, and a league-best 26-3.

Since last season, the Aces boast a franchise-record home winning streak to 19 games.

The 113 points tied a season-high for the Aces, who beat the Minnesota Lynx by an identical final on July 9 in the Twin Cities.

“My teammates were finding me at my spots and I was just trying to make an impact,” said Wilson, whose 17 made field goals were the second most in a game in WNBA history, and the most in franchise history. “I’m more happy that is was just in the flow of our system.”

After being stomped in New York by the Liberty, the league’s second-place team, the Aces have won two in a row by 20 and 24 points.

Four other Aces scored in double figures, including Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray, who each registered double-doubles with identical 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jackie Young added 17 while Kierstan Bell came off the bench to chip in 11.

Washington, currently in seventh place in the league and embroiled in a playoff race, dropped to 13-16 overall and an abysmal 4-11 away from D.C.

The short-handed Mystics also had five players score in double digits, led by Natasha Cloud, who finished with 21 points before being helped to the locker room after an awkward fall left her writing in pain.

Tianna Hawks had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, while Myisha Hines-Allen added 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Also, Brittney Sykes contributed with 12 points and Queen Egbo finished with 10 off the bench.

The Aces finished the contest shooting 54.5% from the floor (42 of 77 FGs) and an even 50% from deep (14 of 28). Las Vegas held Washington to 43% from the field (34 of 79 FGs) and 38.7% from 3-point range (12 for 31)

The Aces had just seven turnovers, while the Mystics finished with 12. The Aces capitalized by scoring 20 points off the Mystics’ miscues, while the Mystics managed to score just eight points off Las Vegas’ turnovers.

Washington didn’t make it easy by any means, keeping the game tight and within reach, tying it in the third quarter at 68-all with 4:24 left in the period. But the Aces used a late-quarter 14-1 run and ended up taking a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter.

“In the first half, we didn’t do a great job on the boards,” Plum said. “When you give a team like that second-chance opportunities, layups at the rim, or open 3s – it’s going to be a ball game.”

The Mystics, who were already missing four players, lost Cloud and Hawkins late in the game. Hawkins returned to the bench after league, but Cloud did not. Both were available to the media after the game and said they would play at home versus Chicago on Sunday.