‘Jackie Young 30 points’ Las Vegas upsets LA… ‘Turacci double-double’ Phoenix gets first win
After falling behind by as many as 12 points in the first half, Las Vegas rallied for a second-half victory. Phoenix coach Curt Miller, who took a knee to Las Vegas in the Finals while leading Connecticut last year, and Derricka Hamby, who revealed she was treated unfairly in connection with her pregnancy, failed to exact revenge on Las Vegas.
In a showdown between teams mired in two straight opening night losses, Phoenix laughed. Forty-year-old “living legend” Diana Turasi led the way for her team’s first win and sent Minnesota to its third straight defeat.
Las Vegas Aces (2 wins) 94-85 LA Sparks (1 win)
(Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA)
Jackie Young 35:06 30 points, 3 rebounds, 4 steals 3P:4/7
Eiza Wilson 31:57 19 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks
Chelsea Gray 37:09 16 points, 8 assists
Candace Parker 22:16 10 points, 8 rebounds (over Las Vegas)
Chini Ogumike 28:10 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists
Lexi Brown 30:31 15 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Derricka Hamby 27:07 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
Jordyn Canada 27:04 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Carly Samuelson 21:24 11 points 3P:3/6 (over LA)
Jackie Young’s inside-outside bombing for a career-high 30 points and Eiza Wilson’s second-half explosion gave Las Vegas the upset win. The Lynx didn’t play well enough to commit 20 turnovers, including 16 steals, but their second-half intensity and battle for rebounds proved to be the difference. Las Vegas won both games without head coach Becky Hammon, who served a two-game suspension.
Things didn’t start well for Las Vegas. They gave up seven points in the first quarter to Lexi Brown on two 3-pointers and to Hamby, who grinded it out against the Lynx. Hamby was aggressive in the post against Chelsea Gray, and on defense, she harassed last season’s MVP, Eiza Wilson.
With Wilson’s scoring tied up, the first half was frustrating for Las Vegas. Las Vegas’ frontcourt, which is wild and dynamic when it’s playing well but unorganized when it’s not, committed a lot of turnovers and couldn’t get the game flowing. Even veteran Candace Parker joined in on the turnovers.
Las Vegas got as close as four points thanks to Jackie Young, who continued to take care of her own business, but Stokes’ poor defense under the basket allowed Chini Ogumike to score back-to-back baskets. A three-pointer from Carly Samuelson, who also played in the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers against South Korea, gave Las Vegas a 36-46 halftime lead.
After a steady 10-point deficit, Las Vegas turned the tide in the third quarter when Wilson exploded.
With his offense struggling to get going, Wilson was called for a technical foul for protesting a call and then drew a flagrant foul for hitting a player who grabbed him on a screen. But he was not deterred.
Slowly regaining his scoring touch, Wilson missed a free throw on an end-one opportunity, but grabbed the rebound himself and turned it into a four-point play. 스포츠토토
Wilson’s resurgence sparked Young, who had the best scoring touch of the game. Back-to-back baskets turned the tide. Las Vegas took a 61-59 lead.
After back-to-back baskets by Gray to end the third quarter with a 67-63 lead, Las Vegas answered with a three-pointer by Alicia Clark.
Free throws by Hamby and a steal by Brown kept LA close, but Young hit back-to-back 3-pointers. Young hit another 3-pointer after a Samuelson triple and a Jordyn Canada steal as LA closed the gap.
Wilson and Young calmly converted free throws drawn by the other team’s foul to give Las Vegas its second straight win to open the season. Las Vegas and Los Angeles will play a rematch in two days. This is Las Vegas’ home opener of the season.
Phoenix Mercury (1-2) 90-81 Minnesota Lynx (3)
(Footprint Center, Phoenix, Arizona)
Diana Turasi 32:03 23 points, 3 rebounds, 10 assists 3P:4/9
Brittany Griner 30:51 19 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks
Alesia Sutton 35:49 14 points, 3 assists
Sophie Cunningham 24:16 13 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists 3P:3/8
Moriah Jefferson 26:48 13 points 3P:3/5 (over Phoenix)
Aerial Powers 24:07 20 points, 4 rebounds
Diamond Miller 26:04 13 points
Jessica Shepherd 30:12 13 points 3 rebounds
Tiffany Mitchell 31:16 12 points, 4 assists (over Minnesota)
A double-double from Diana Turrash (23 points, 10 assists) gave the Gophers their first win of the season. After opening the game with three-pointers from Mikaela Onyenweiler and Sophie Cunningham, the Phoenix jumped out to an early lead with Turasi leading the offense.
Minnesota rallied behind Jessica Shepherd and Nafisa Collier, but Phoenix, which hit 11 3-pointers in the first half, built a 17-point lead and never looked back.
Turasi and Moriah Jefferson combined for 28 points in the first half, hitting three 3-pointers apiece, and Brittney Griner dominated on the offensive end, outrebounding Minnesota 57-40.
But their outside shooting dropped off in the second half, allowing Minnesota to pull away behind Tiffany Mitchell’s scoring. After going scoreless for about three minutes to start the third quarter, Phoenix got a break with a free throw from Griner and maintained the lead with free throws from Turasi and a basket from Alicia Sutton.
After Nicolina Milicic and Powers seemed to change the momentum, Minnesota gave up a basket to Sophie Cunningham on a missed baseline pass, and Phoenix continued its dominance with a three-pointer from Turacci and a basket from Griner.
Leading 72-62 at the end of the third quarter, Phoenix kept the lead within 10 points the rest of the way in the fourth, pushing Minnesota to its third straight loss.