A’ja Wilson passed 1,000 career points. Jackie Young was two points away from a triple-double. Liz Cambage pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds.
Although it took an overtime period to get the job done, the Las Vegas Aces showed the league why they’ll be a tough out in the playoffs as they defeated the Phoenix Mercury 84-79 on Tuesday night.
There were 15 lead changes and seven ties in the 45 minutes of action, but the tie that sent the game to overtime was exceedingly well-earned. The Aces had to mount a seven-point comeback in the final minutes, spurred by a Young three-pointer, to put themselves in a position to win:
After staying within two points of each other for the first 3:48 of overtime, the Aces scored the last six points of the game to take the lead for good.
Wilson and Cambage led the victors with 19 points apiece, Kayla McBride added 11 points and Kelsey Plum and Dearica Hamby each scored 10.
Fittingly, the free throw that tied the game for the last time was Wilson’s 1,000th career point; her next free throw was the Aces’ go-ahead bucket. She became the fourth-fastest player in WNBA history to reach the 1,000-point milestone.
Cambage also had 15 rebounds, her highest total since a 17-board performance last July. And although Young finished with just eight points on 2-of-11 shooting, she also racked up 10 rebounds and 10 assists (both of which either tied or set a career-high).
Brittney Griner got right back to work in her return from her three-game suspension, tying DeWanna Bonner for game-high scorer with 24 points. Leilani Mitchell added 14 points and Brianna Turner grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds to go with seven points.
This was the Aces’ fourth straight win, while the Mercury dipped below .500 but retain a half-game lead over the Minnesota Lynx for seventh place. But the Mercury are four games ahead of the ninth-place Indiana Fever, therefore remaining solidly in the race for a playoff spot.
The Aces are in Connecticut to face the Sun on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET (NBA TV). The Mercury host the Chicago Sky on Sunday, Aug. 25, at 6 p.m. ET (WNBA League Pass).
Tuesday’s other action
Chicago Sky 87, Atlanta Dream 83
The Sky defeated the Dream 87-83, inching closer to a playoff spot for themselves while sending the Dream to their 12th straight loss and elimination from playoff contention. All five Sky starters scored in double figures, led by Diamond DeShields’ 17 points and Allie Quigley’s 16 points. Courtney Vandersloot (points/assists) and Astou Ndour (points/rebounds) both added double-doubles.
Up next: The Dream face the New York Liberty on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network). The Sky host the Washington Mystics on Friday, Aug. 23, at 8 p.m. ET (WNBA League Pass).
New York Liberty 82, Indiana Fever 76
Thanks to two 20-point performances, the Liberty held off a Fever comeback to win 82-76 and snap their eight-game losing streak. Tina Charles had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Kia Nurse added 20 points and Bria Hartley had 16 points for the victors. Teaira McCowan led the Fever with a career-high 24 points.
Up next: The Fever head to Los Angeles to play the Sparks on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 10:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network). The Liberty host the Atlanta Dream on Friday, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).
Los Angeles Sparks 81, Minnesota Lynx 71
Down by as many as 30 points, the Lynx’s valiant fourth-quarter comeback attempt fell short as the Sparks grabbed the 81-71 victory. Candace Parker’s 20-point, 10-rebound double-double led the way for Los Angeles, while Chelsea Gray added 17 points and Alexis Jones scored a career-high 15 off the bench. Lexie Brown’s 20 points led the way for Minnesota.
Up next: The Lynx host the Dallas Wings on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 8 p.m. ET (WNBA League Pass). The Sparks host the Indiana Fever on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 10:30 p.m. ET (CBS Sports Network).