Aces close in on top seed with 26-point drubbing of Storm

May 25, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Wilson official basketball with WNBA logo goes through the net during the game between the LA Sparks and the Las Vegas Aces at Arena.
Image: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A’ja Wilson put up 30 points and 10 rebounds, Jackie Young scored 22 points and the Las Vegas Aces completed a season sweep of the visiting Seattle Storm, 103-77 on Saturday night.

The Aces (32-6) tightened their grip on the top spot in the WNBA standings. Their magic number to beat the New York Liberty for the No. 1 playoff seed shrank to two.

Young, who scored 22 or more points in every win over Seattle (11-26) this year, made all four of her 3-pointers Saturday in the third quarter. Kelsey Plum had 15 points and eight assists, Chelsea Gray had 14 points and nine assists and Alysha Clark made four triples en route to 16 points off the bench.

WNBA scoring leader Jewell Loyd led the Storm with 28 points and 10 rebounds, including 11-for-11 shooting at the foul line. Sami Whitcomb had 14 points and Ezi Magbegor added 12.

Las Vegas made 23 of 25 free-throw attempts as a team and grabbed 10 steals. The Aces turned 17 Seattle turnovers into 20 points.

The Aces led 25-19 after one quarter, but Loyd scored seven of Seattle’s first eight points of the second quarter to help forge a 27-27 tie.

Gray responded by sinking a turnaround floater that launched an extended 16-4 Aces run. Wilson scored 12 of Las Vegas’ points in that stretch, her driving layup making it 43-31 with 3:07 left.

Seattle pushed back, and Joyner Holmes hit a corner 3-pointer with one second on the clock to cut the margin to 49-43 Aces at intermission.

Wilson had racked up 21 points and eight rebounds at halftime alone. Loyd had 20 points at the break for Seattle.

Young broke out in the third quarter. She opened the scoring with a 3-pointer before Wilson restored the Aces’ double-digit advantage with two free throws and a layup.

The Storm got back within five before Young made her second 3-pointer at 5:52 to go, and she hit back-to-back triples from the same spot on the left wing in the final minute of the period to give Las Vegas a 75-67 lead after three.

Plum assisted two straight layups by reserves Kierstan Bell and Cayla George that gave the Aces a 91-71 lead with 5:15 to play, putting the game out of reach.

—Field Level Media

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