A'ja Wilson Comes Alive in Overtime as Aces Top Mercury, 84-79
LAS VEGAS - A'ja Wilson scored nine of the Aces 11 points in overtime as Las Vegas (19-9) picked up its fourth straight win in an 84-79 victory over the Phoenix Mercury (13-14).
Phoenix led 4-3 early in the first, but the Aces scored the next 10 points to lead 13-4 with 5:27 remaining in the quarter. The Mercury went 1 for 10 from the field to start the game.
After a Phoenix timeout, the Mercury countered with a 10-0 run of their own to go up 14-13.
Tied at 40 early in the third, Las Vegas scored 11 straight points to go up 51-40 with 6:02 on the clock.
The Mercury closed the quarter on a 16-7 run to slice the Aces advantage to two, 58-56.
Las Vegas led by six, 62-56 with 1:49 gone in the fourth, but the Mercury scored 17 of the next 21 points to go up by half a dozen, 73-66, with 4:02 to go.
The Aces held Phoenix scoreless over the final 4:02, closing regulation on a 7-0 run.
Trailing 79-78 with 1:12 to go, Las Vegas scored the final six points of the game on a pair of A'ja Wilson free throws, a Wilson driving layup and a pair of free throws by Dearica Hamby.
The Mercury went 7 for 30- from three-point range, while Las Vegas went 6 for 14.
The Aces went 16 for 22 from the free throw line, while Phoenix went 10 for 10.
Las Vegas outrebounded Phoenix 50-39.
The Aces outscored the Mercury 10-4 in fast break points.
Las Vegas outscored Phoenix 13-4 in second chance points.
The game featured 7 ties and 15 lead changes.
A'ja Wilson returned to the starting line up for the first time since she injured her left ankle on July 19 at Seattle.
Las Vegas is now 2-0 on the season in overtime games.
Jackie Young recorded just the third rebound-assist double-double in WNBA history in which a player also scored fewer than 10 points. The other two were Aces Assistant Coach Vickie Johnson (2 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists on May 25, 2007 vs. Seattle) and Nikki Teasley (4 points, 10 rebounds, 13 assists on June 14, 2003 at New York).
Liz Cambage scored in double figures for the 24th time this season (19 points). She added 15 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season, and fifth straight.
Wilson scored in double figures for the 17th time this season (19 points)
Kayla McBride scored in double figures for the 23rd time this season (11 points).
Kelsey Plum scored in double figures for the 14th time this season (10 points).
Brianna Turner blocked a career-high 6 shots, matching the Mercury's rookie record for blocks in a game, tying Brittney Griner's mark (August 11, 2013)..
Brittney Griner finished with a game-high 24 points this evening to move past Mercury teammate, Sancho Lyttle, for 50th on the WNBA's all-time scoring list tonight. It was Griner's 13th 20+ point game of the season and her third in the last four games she's played in.
DeWanna Bonner scored 19 of her game-high 24 points in the second half and overtime tonight to go along with eight rebounds. Bonner moved past Alana Beard for 25th on the WNBA's all-time scoring list.
Brianna Turner's seven points, 11 rebounds and six blocks mark just the eighth time in WNBA history a rookie has put up such numbers in a game, and the first time since August 8, 2010 whenTina Charles did so.
Leilani Mitchell scored 14 points and dished five assists in the loss tonight. It was Mitchell's 11th consecutive game scoring 10+ points.
Entering tonight's game ranked second in the WNBA in free throw shooting, the Mercury shot a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe this evening, the eighth time Phoenix has shot 100 percent from the free throw line in a game this season.
Tonight's game marked the Mercury's first overtime game since August 10, 2017 against Dallas
Las Vegas goes on the road for the next three gamed beginning with a Friday, August 23 trip to Connecticut. Tip is slated for 4:30 pm PT.
The Aces are now 1.5 games back of Washington (20-7), and .5 games back of Connecticut (19-8), neither of whom played this evening. The Mystics have the tiebreaker over Las Vegas, while the Sun and Aces split their first two meetings this season.
Bill Laimbeer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?vStk-4uOIU&feature=youtu.be
A'ja Wilson and Liz Cambage - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5JxSuAmkKY&feature=youtu.be
Bill Laimbeer Quotes
They made some great shots, Bonner some of the bombs she made kept them in the game. We missed a lot of easy baskets which could have put the game away. Missed a lot of free throws. But at the end of the day we persevered. A'ja was struggling the whole night all of a sudden she plays great down the stretch that's who she is. One thing I want to say before the closing statement is the crowd was great. We had a really nice crowd. Size, loud... if you didn't enjoy this basketball game you don't enjoy basketball.
On tonight's playoff atmosphere...
All teams right now are playing playoff games. Phoenix is fighting right now to get into the playoffs. They are getting chased by a few teams. They are getting healthy and they want to show it and they can beat anybody on any given night, they have been here before. They have done that before. They are very experienced. We are trying to learn. I give their team credit for hanging in but I give our team credit also.
On the foul call with seconds left in the game...
I haven't watched the tape I don't know what happened but they called a foul. Phoenix missed the game winning shot so we go to overtime. Then you see that we persevered so that's how basketball is.
On A'ja's turnaround at halftime...
She made a basket to give her some confidence. She still is working her way up from an injury and she knows that is no excuse. They are long and athletic so you have to do certain moves to get around players like that and she has to learn that because her and Hamby were getting shots blocked tonight.
On Liz's play as of late...
I told you all that when she came back from her rest that she was very engaged. I trust her out there right now. She knows what she's supposed to do and how to do it. She likes the situation that she's in and she needs to keep going.
A'ja Wilson Quotes
Q. What changed in overtime?
"Nothing honestly changed. I just became more into it without getting inside my own head. When you're an offensive "person" and you miss shots, you get pissed off. So sometimes you have to find other ways and I tried to find other ways like, guarding Bonner or trying to get rebounds for my team, when it comes it comes. The biggest thing that changed for me is I just let the game come to me. I know I threw shots that I shouldn't have thrown up but the fact that my teammates still trust me with a basketball is something that I take a lot of pride in, and I knew that I just had to keep the best way that I could."
Q. How have you seen Jackie Young progress over this season?
"I always kid about Jackie, I always say you're my favorite rookie on this team. Just to give her uplift, Jackie is not going to change facial expressions at all. So just to see her play the way she is and to see her grow from training camp to now and run a team that's older than her, it shows a lot of confidence and pride within her and we trust her. We trust her decisions and I'm so proud of her. Even though she was one layup short of a triple-double, I would be pissed, but she probably is but that's a big time thing."
Liz Cambage Quotes
Q. You and Grinder had your own battle going on, what does that match up for you?
"It's just playing basketball. They just let us play. I love playing Brittney, I love her as a player and I love her as a person so we have fun out there when we're playing each other so yeah I had a good time."
Q. Your 5th double-double in a row since coming back, what's been working for you?
"I don't know. I'm just trying to do my thing, I'm not in my head anymore. Just going out there, trying not to mess up the plays and just focusing on getting rebounds and playing defense and letting the offense come from that."
Q. How have you seen Jackie Young progress over this season?
"It's not easy being a rookie and a point guard, it's the hardest job and she's leading me and A'ja out there which is an even harder job. We can be a mess out there sometimes. Props to her and all the hard work she puts in before and after practice. Just her drive, the way she pushes the ball it pushes out wins."
Sandy Brondello Quotes
On what went wrong in tonight's game...
"I think we got tired, that's 4 in 7 games. We've been out with Brittney Griner for 3 games, we got a short rotation. Players got tired and execution wasn't as sharp as it could've been in certain situation but I think we played with a lot of heart. We had opportunities to make shots and they just made shots a little bit more than we did."
On overtime play...
"I'm proud of them, the situations that we have been in, we still got 4 players back at home that would really help us. It's more of keeping our heads up, I know there is a little fatigue when we went to overtime which is going to be a struggle for us but I think we played hard and we pushed Vegas, who's a very good team all the way."
On playing short-handed...
"We've been doing it all season long. Our team has a bunch of fighters and high character individuals who keep playing hard."
DeWanna Bonner Quotes
On tonight's game...
"We didn't finish in overtime. We missed a couple of shots that we're used to making and we had 4 games in 6 or 7 days. I think fatigue set in but we battled."
On playing short-handed...
"We haven't had everybody all season so we just grind and get used to it. This say's a lot about our team and losing in overtime to a full team like that with full-strength with great players. This says a lot about our team and our fight. I think when we get full strength we'll be helluva of a team."
On current team goals...
"We're just trying to get that playoff spot, that's our focus. We need to get some wins and get a rhythm."
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