Las Vegas—-The Phoenix Mercury are a totally different team without Skylar Diggins-Smith (Ankle) and Brittany Griner in the lineup. Griner was arrested at the airport in Moscow and has been detained since February 2022 after a police canine detected her vaping cartridges that reportedly contained traces of cannabis oil, which are illegal in Russia. She faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted in a Russian court.
Kelsey Plum poured in 24 points, Jackie Young chipped in 20 and Las Vegas dominated the third quarter in a 100-80 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday.
The game was another rematch of last year’s semifinal loss to the Mercury and Tuesday’s night 86-74 Aces win. But this year Aces team is a defiantly different team with a lot of swag on the hardwood.
The game was close at the end of the first half with the Aces up by two 44-42 but they were gaining confidence and scoring buckets with ease.
Plum drained three 3-pointers and scored 15 in a 38-point third quarter to propel Las Vegas (6-1) from a two-point halftime lead into an 82-60 advantage. Dearica Hamby scored 11 of her 13 points in that period.
Chelsea Gray finished with 13 points, five assists, and four swipes as the Aces improved to 4-0 at home. Theresa Plaisance poured in 11 points and had nine boards off the bench.
Diamond DeShields was top scorer for Phoenix (2-4) with 19 points. Reserve Sophie Cunningham scored 17 and Diana Taurisi chipped in 14 points and seven assists.
The Aces moved into first place with the victory, a half-game ahead of the Washington Mystics.
The next game for the league-leading Aces will be Monday facing the (2-4) Los Angeles Sparks.
The Mercury’s (2-4) next game is on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Sparks.