10.6 C
New York
Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Buy now

Jackie Young carries Aces through early struggles, closes out Sparks

Jackie Young (game- and career-high 30 points) buried three trebles in a span of two minutes and four seconds in the fourth quarter to help the Las Vegas Aces maintain their lead over the Los Angeles Sparks and win 94-85 on Thursday night Could at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

Young was 4 of 7 from three and 12 of 18 from the field, not including Sparks superstar Nneka Ogwumike, who was out with a non-COVID illness.

Despite the absence of N. Ogwumike, the Sparks (1–1) led by as many as 12 and were in control by the end of the third quarter. They played with gusto when Carly Samuelson hit a deep three to cut the deficit to five with 59 seconds remaining. LA wouldn’t get any closer the rest of the game, but it certainly frustrated Aja Wilson and the super-team Aces (2-0), who were playing without head coach Becky Hyman. Hammon was serving the second and final game of his suspension as he handled off-season talks with Diorica Hamby, who is now on the Sparks and had 11 points and three steals on Thursday.

Wilson (19 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks) was not called away in the third except for a technical and a key 1 that helped the Sparks hold on to a two-point lead. But shortly thereafter, the Aces went on a 10–0 run to take a double-digit lead; He then led the entire fourth.

2022 Finals MVP Chelsea Gray shot over 60 percent from the field and beyond, which she certainly made a habit of doing during last year’s playoffs. He finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and two steals and hit a mid-range shot that made it 89–79 Aces with 1:30 to go.

Jordan Canada, not known as a 3-point shooter, cut L.A.’s deficit to 85–79 with a trey with 2:50 remaining. Young then hit a wide-open triple from the right corner to make it 85–76 with 3:07 to play.

Young cashed in from downtown at the 5:11 and 4:42 marks of the fourth, giving Vegas leads of eight and nine, respectively.

The Aces’ crucial 4–0 stretch of a 10–0 run came down on one possession. Wilson leapt up, missed the end-1 free throw, got the rebound and made another layup to cut it to 59–57. Young made the next two buckets of the game to give Vegas the lead. It led by four entering the fourth.

Wilson had a ton of emotions in the build-up to this 10-0 run. She screamed about not getting the foul call after making the layup, leading to a technical point for L.A. that made it 52–45 Sparks. Not too long later, Wilson was called for a major 1 out for pushing Lecia Clarendon down the floor. Clarendon made 1 of 2 free throws, and on the Sparks’ ensuing possession, awarded a flagrant due, Chini Ogwumike made a layup to extend LA’s lead to 57–47.

Canada’s first steal of the second frame quickly got the Aces back, but his second set up a fast break layup to Joyner Holmes that made it 29–17 Sparks. A Clarendon three later at the buzzer of the shot clock would return the contest to a 12-point L.A. lead (at 32–20).

The Aces finally got serious about cutting it when Gray made a three into the right corner that brought them within six at 36–30. Later, a 4–0 Vegas run would cut it to 38–34 the Aces would hold in the second period. The run began with a Young block, which led to a Young layup in transition, and ended with a Young steel to Young scoop layup. Young led Vegas with 13 points and three steals in the first half.

LA responded to the 4-0 run with an 8-0 run to lead by 10 at the break. C. Ogwumike started the run with a 3-point play and then scored again on a nice pass from Hamby. Wilson then hit a three in transition for a 12-point Sparks lead before closing out the half with two free throws. Wilson was 1 of 8 from the field with six points in the opening 20 minutes.

Sparks immediately looked at ease. Lexie Brown came around a screen for a beautiful mid-range swish that got L.A. on the board and tied it at 2-2, and then Clarendon made a layup off the glass to tie it at 4-4. . A Browns three off a Sparks steal gave LA a 7–4 lead; Hamby followed with a layup that forced the opening Aces timeout.

Sparks legend and current ace Candace Parker made the first bucket out of timeouts; It was a three that cut L.A.’s lead to 9–7. But the Browns answered with three straight and then C. Ogwumike made a deep two that made it 14–7 Sparks. A Hamby 3-point play would make it 17–9 and a Brown mid-range make would make it 20–9. LA went ahead by 12 twice before the second quarter began.

Natalie Nakase was the acting head coach of the Aces in this win.

C. Ogwumike finished with 19 points, eight boards, three assists, two steals and two rejections while Brown (6-of-9 from the field) was good for 15 points, five assists and three steals.

Wilson was 11-of-13 at the free throw line. The Aces won despite committing nine more turnovers than the Sparks. Vegas won by field goal percentage 52.5 to 42.1, 3-point percentage 43.5 to 36.8, and free throw percentage 78.6 to 70.

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles


Subscribe to stay updated.