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Aces Season Opener Against Los Angeles Sparks

Yasmina Chavez

Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) shoots from the three point line during the Aces’ home opener against the Los Angeles Sparks at Mandalay Bay Event Center Sunday, May 26, 2019.

The Aces clamped down on defense in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Chicago Sky for a 90-82 win on Tuesday.

Kayla McBride, A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage each scored 16 points to lead a balanced attack for Las Vegas, and Kelsey Plum’s 14-point performance was especially encouraging. After enduring a 3-of-32 shooting slump over the last five contests, Plum made 6-of-9 from the field and connected on her lone 3-point attempt.

“I thought Plum had a hell of a game,” Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said. “She’s been very competitive; shots haven’t gone in. Today, the shots went in from the start.”

Plum made her first four attempts, all on driving layups, and finished the first quarter with nine points.

“Bill has wanted me to get more into the paint,” Plum said. “I went in there and it kind of opened up for me, so I was able to get some easy buckets.”

The score was tied 72-72 heading into the fourth quarter, and it was knotted at 80-80 with four minutes left when Cambgae scored in the post to give Las Vegas the lead. Wilson followed with a mid-range jumper, and Dearica Hamby scored on a backdoor layup to make it 90-82 with less than two minutes to play.

The Aces’ defense did the job from there. Chicago shot 51.9 percent through the first three quarters, but the Aces held them to 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) in the final period. Chicago’s last field goal came with 5:36 remaining.

“I thought our team played defense,” Laimbeer said. “We got stops, we got rebounds, and that’s what won the game for us was our defense in the fourth quarter.”

The victory improved Las Vegas to 8-5 on the season and moved the Aces into third place in the league standings. They’ll face another big test on Friday night when they host the first-place Washington Mystics (9-3).

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun