College Park, GA—The Las Vegas Aces handed the Atlanta Dream their first lost of the season. They made the Dream look mortal.
A’ja Wilson poured in 15 points, Kelsey Plum had 14 points and 11 assists and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Atlanta Dream 96-73 on Friday night in College Park.
Wilson also had seven boards and five blocks to help the Aces improve to 3-1 overall and 2-1 on the road.
The Dream couldn’t get much going offensively with only two players in double figures. They had a difficult time moving the ball and creating shots for their playmakers throughout the contest.
“Part of that is our offense too,” Atlanta head coach Tanisha Wright said. “It got stagnant, and because of that, they got the ball, and now, we’re just throwing it all over the place.”
The Aces connected on 47.1 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 16 of 35, 45.7 percent, from downtown. Las Vegas also had 24 assists, 11 by Plum, and eight players contributed to the team total of 11 swipes.
Center Cheyenne Parker had some big defensive plays for Atlanta at the onset of the game, including a block on All-Star forward A’ja Wilson, as well as a steal. But, Plum drained two 3-pointers which helped build a 23-12 first-quarter lead for the Aces.
Things got worst for the Dream; as they ended up trailing at the break 49-33 and eventually went on to lose by more than 20.
Six Las Vegas players scored in double figures Friday night as the Aces took advantage of the 3-point arc frequently. They attempted 18 more 3-pointers than Atlanta did and made eight more.
Chelsea Gray and Riquna Williams added 14 points apiece, Jackie Young had 13 and Dearica Hamby finished with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
The Dream were also very careless with the basketball with some very uncharacteristic turnovers, including one play at the end of the third where Kristy Wallace had stolen the ball and was prepared to score in transition for a layup, but it was blocked. They had 19 turnovers in total.
Any thoughts of a Dream comeback disappated when Williams nailed a trey with 2:56 left in the third quarter to increase the lead to a game-high 23 points at 64-41. Las Vegas led 69-52 after three.
Aari McDonald had 20 points for the Dream (2-1) but she also committed five of the Dream’s 19 turnovers. She was 5 of 7 from 3-point range as well. Rhyne Howard chipped in 13 points.
“I know where her spots are and how to get her the ball and when to,” McDonald said.
The Dream lacked the offensive firepower to stay with Las Vegas, which never trailed in the contest and led by double figures for the game’s final 24 minutes. The Aces, who nearly hit the 100-point mark for the second time in four games, are averaging 90.8 points per game.
The Dream is a road trip to the Hoosier State on Sunday to take on the Fever.
Meanwhile, the Aces will head back home to Sin City to face off against their rival in the southwest region, the Phoenix Mercury.