WNBA: Kelsey Plum drops 30 as Aces beat Wings

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Sep 14 2021 04:07 PM

Kelsey Plum scored 30 points off the bench, including 13 in the final five minutes of the pivotal third quarter, as the Las Vegas Aces crept closer to clinching the No. 2 spot in the playoffs with a 85-75 come-from-behind win over the visiting Dallas Wings on Monday afternoon.

The Aces fended off a ragged start and took charge late in the third quarter, eventually leading by as many as 13 points in the fourth before cruising to the finish line.

Las Vegas (22-8) can't post the league's best record - Connecticut has clinched that spot with its still-active 12-game win streak -- but finishing second is almost as good in the WNBA's playoff structure.

The Aces will clinch the No. 2 seed, and the automatic double-playoff bye that accompanies that standing, with a win in either of their final two games. Las Vegas ends the regular season on the road at Chicago on Friday and then at Phoenix on Sunday.

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Plum scored all but four of her points in the second half. A'ja Wilson added 21 points and took 12 rebounds for Las Vegas, with Riquna Williams hitting for 16 points. Vegas was missing center Liz Cambage, who was out for the fourth straight game due to COVID protocol.

Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings (13-18) with 23 points while Allisha Gray added 15, Marina Mabrey scored 14 points and Kayla Thornton hit for 11. 

Dallas, which has clinched a playoff spot, played without injured point guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Satou Sabally as well as Isabelle Harrison, who is in COVID protocol.

Ogunbowale scored 11 of her points in the game's first eight minutes and helped stake the Wings to a 29-19 lead after the first quarter. Dallas held its ground in the second period, taking a 45-36 lead to halftime on the strength of Ogunbowale's 16 points, Gray's 11 and overall 50 percent shooting from the floor as a team.

Wilson scored 14 points in the half and Williams hit for 10 to help the Aces stay within reach despite 41.9 percent shooting and a 20-14 deficit in rebounding.

Las Vegas flipped the script in the third quarter, shooting 59 percent in the period, outscoring the Wings 25-12 and leapfrogging to a 61-57 lead. Dallas shot just 26 percent in the period and was 0-for-4 from beyond the arc.