The Las Vegas Aces knew they had some things they needed to clean up offensively after scoring just 66 points, albeit in a win, against the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday.
But they didn't just clean things up; they exploded for a franchise-record 118 points on Sunday at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas as everything came together for the WNBA’s best offense.
After scoring just five points on Friday, NCAAW all-time leading scorer Kelsey Plum went off for 23 points to lead the way in the 118-95 victory over the Atlanta Dream. She was 5-of-8 from distance with some electrifying threes late and dished out eight assists. Plum, who is third on Vegas with 13.3 points per game, also notched her 1,000th career point.
The crowd was rocking at “The House” as Plum refused to take her foot off the gas, hitting 3-pointers with 53.3 and 31.9 seconds left. She also scored in the lane with 1:32 remaining and finished with 11 points in the fourth.
A’ja Wilson (19 points, nine rebounds), Dearica Hamby (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Liz Cambage (17 points, 10 rebounds) dominated the glass, while Jackie Young (16 points, six assists) and Chelsea Gray (nine points, six assists) helped Plum with the distributing. Riquna Williams added 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc and the other three points went to JiSu Park.
Wilson had 20 points on Friday and Gray had 14, but Hamby was held to six, Cambage was held to 10, Young was held to eight and R. Williams was held to three.
The win improved the first-place Aces to 14-4.
The 6-11 Dream, who took the 14-4 Seattle Storm down to the wire on Friday, led 31-29 after one and trailed by just three at halftime before the “Microwave” started heating up. R. Williams hit two threes and totaled eight points during a 12-5 Aces run to open the third. Vegas closed the game on a 15-6 run over the final 4:27.
Courtney Williams led Atlanta with 19 points and added five assists while Cheyenne Parker tossed in 18 points to go along with seven boards. Odyssey Sims was impressive with 13 assists to complement her 10 points. Monique Billings was good for 12 points and six rebounds and Elizabeth Williams rounded out the Dream’s double-figure scorers with 10 points.
The Aces (60 paint points, 31 assists) shot a blistering 59.7 from the field and were 11-of-17 from downtown with Young, Gray and Hamby all connecting on their only trey attempts. Vegas made 21 free throws, nine more than Atlanta.
Seattle Storm (14-4) over Los Angeles Sparks (6-11), 84-74
In the second half, the Storm went on a 30-8 run to counter a 24-9 run by the Sparks. LA led by as much as eight, but Seattle tied the game on a Kennedy Burke reverse layup to open the fourth. The Storm were only up three with 6:17 to play before going on an 11-0 run that featured five points from Breanna Stewart (21 points) and four from Ezi Magbegor (career-high 20 points). Stewart dished out four assists and Magbegor hauled in nine rebounds.
Epiphanny Prince added 18 points and three steals and Sue Bird had 13 points for the winners. Bird passed Katie Smith for sixth place on the all-time scoring list and now has 6,464 career points.
Seattle’s second-leading scorer, Jewell Loyd (18.1 points per game) was out with an ankle injury.
Brittney Sykes notched 19 points, 10 boards and five assists in defeat. Erica Wheeler also had 19 points and five assists for the Sparks.
LA was a perfect 17-of-17 from the free throw line. Seattle was 16-of-17.
Sisters Katie Lou Samuelson (Storm) and Karlie Samuelson (Sparks) faced each other for the first time as professionals.