Las Vegas, NV—The Las Vegas Aces are playing out of their minds the last few weeks and they have different players that steps up each and every game.
Guard Kelsey Plum poured in 25 points and A’ja Wilson chipped in 23 points and 12 boards to help the Aces trounced the Connecticut Sun 102-84 on Saturday in a matchup of the top tier teams in the WNBA. Plum signed a two-year extension contract just a day before.
The Aces started out hot like they did two days earlier against the New York Liberty, the Aces opened the flood gate at the start of the third quarter. Las Vegas scored the first 17 points of the frame to turn a 11-point lead to 76-48.
Connecticut never regained their composure or flow back to the game.
This was the eighth straight win for Vegas (15-1), who avenged their only defeat of the season. Connecticut (12-5) was able to beat them because of a career-high and franchise-record 41 points by DeWanna Bonner, Las Vegas hasn’t looked back ever since that defeat.
Connecticut finally ended the run with DiJonai Carrington’s deep trey with 4:31 left in the third frame. Things took a turn for the worse when Tiffany Hayes was tossed by official Clare Aubry when she made money signs after she was called for a foul.
“They said something about doing a money sign or something. I don’t know,” Connecticut coach Stephanie White said. “We were not told that anything like this was an automatic ejection.”
Hayes declined to comment on the play after the game to the media.
Bonner finished with 19 points and was chosen as All-Star reserves Saturday.
Plum, who was the MVP of last year’s All-Star Game also was selected as a reserve as well. She jump started the Aces get in the first quarter leading the way with 10 points.
The coaches Saturday will be back in two weeks coaching in the All-Star Game on July 15. Becky Hammon will be coaching the game for the second consecutive year, leading Wilson’s team. Stephanie White will be coaching in the game for the first time when she leads Breanna Stewart’s squad.
Wilson extension: A’ja Wilson didn’t hesitate or play around in free agent market knowing damn well she didn’t want to depart from Las Vegas. The two-time MVP signed a two-year contract extension with the Aces, the team announced Friday.
“The minute they drafted me, they took a chance on me,” Wilson said. “They wanted me to build this program, to build around me and to help us grow. I was super grateful for that.”
Wilson, who led the team to its first WNBA championship last season has been the catalyst for the Aces for its 14-1 season.
“One of the best, if not the best basketball player in the world,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “As good as she is as a basketball player, she’s that good as a person and as a leader. To have that skill set and personality all wrapped up in one is a special gift. We’re certainly happy she chose to stay with us.”
Wilson signed a two-year rookie-scale contract prior to last season and was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year. Now Vegas have their core group of Wilson, Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and Chelsea Gray signed through next year.
Coming into this season, Wilson averaged 19.1 points and 8.4 rebounds. This year her numbers is slightly up to 19.4 points and 9 rebounds a contest.