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Kelsey Plum Help Aces Close Out Regular Season With, 84-83, Win Over Phoenix

By Donnie Woods, 09/20/21, 11:30AM CDT

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Kelsey Plum scored 13 points in the fourth quarter to help the Aces erase an 8-point deficit, Jackie Young scored on a putback with 4.3 seconds left and Ji-Su Park had the block of the year, stuffing Brianna Turner's layup attempt with under a second to go, as Las Vegas picked up an, 84-83, win over Phoenix in the final regular season game for both clubs.

The Mercury led by 4, 32-28, early in the second quarter, and went on a 6-0 run to push their lead to double digits, 38-28. Las Vegas nibbled away at the lead, cutting it as close as three, 44-41. The Mercury made 10 of 19 shots from three-point range in the half, while Las Vegas outscored Phoenix 26-8 in the paint.

The Aces took their first lead since the first 61-60, with 3:57 remaining in the third quarter, but an 8-0 Phoenix run put the Mercury back on top.

The Mercury went 14 for 30 from three-point range while the Aces went 6 for 17. The Mercury’s 14 three-point field goals tie as the fifth-most made in a game in franchise history (done seven times), trailing four games of 15 made triples and the franchise record of 16 on May 25, 2010.

Liz Cambage scored 4 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, handed out 1 assist and blocked 1 shot in 9:31 in her first game back after missing 5 games in the WNBA's Health & Safety Protocols.

The Mercury also sat MVP candidate Britney Griner in the second half and were without Diana Taurasi, who remains out with an ankle injury. Skylar Diggins-Smith led the way with 17 points and 7 assists to go with 2 rebounds.

She finished the regular season as the only player in the league to average at least 17+ points, 5+ assists, and 3+ rebounds per game,
and is now the only player in league history to average such numbers in at least three seasons (2017, 2018 and 2021). Skylar scored in double figures in a team-high 29 of the team’s 32 games this season.

Shey Peddy scored 10 points, while adding 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals. Since being inserted into the starting lineup on September 8 in place of the injured Diana Taurasi, Peddy has averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.0 steals.

Kelsey Plum, 23 points, is her 15th 20plus scoring game of her career. She  finished the season averaging 14.8 points per game which is the second highest scoring average  for a player in WNBA history who played the entire year as a reserve (15.0, Chamique Holdsclaw, 2006, Los Angeles).

Aces tied the franchise record for most wins in a season with 24 (2008, 24-10, ), and posted the second highest winning percentage (24-8, .750)in franchise history (18-4, .818 in 2020).

The game had no bearing on league standings or playoff implications. Las Vegas (24-8) is the No. 2 seed and has a double-bye and nine days off before playing the highest remaining seed in the semifinals. Phoenix (19-13), the five seed, is home against the eight seed on Thursday.

 


 

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