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Las Vegas Aces Defeat Indiana Fever and Waive Dyashia Fair

The Las Vegas Aces (3-1) are setting the town on fire and it’s not even summer yet.  After a standing room only game (May 25, 2024), the Aces turned the heat up, leading with an impressive win 99 -80 over the Indiana Fever (1-6).  On top of A’ja Wilsons 1,000 career free throws, she also recorded her fourth consecutive 20 plus points, and 10 plus rebounds per season game, tying the WNBA record only accomplished twice by Sylvia Fowler and once by Tina Charles and Cory Johnson. Aja’s 29 points and 15 rebounds marks her 80th double-double of her her career, also making her fourth straight double-double to start the season. This game marked the 68th game (regular season and playoffs) for Wilson with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention a career block of 352 —a feat she has now accomplished in 29.6% of her 230 WNBA games. Wilson (352 career blocks), who had 1 blocked shot, now needs 15 to draw even with No. 17 Jessica Breland (367). Her 4th free throw of the night (she was 4 of 4) marked the 1,000th made free throw of her career which is the 30th most in WNBA history.

The other Las Vegas players scored in double figures—Jackie Young (22 points, 6 assists), Kelsey Plum (20 points, 7 assists) and Kate Martin (12 points, 7 rebounds)—while the Aces’ defense held the NCAA’s career leading scorer, Caitlin Clark, is only 8 points on 2 of 8 shooting from the field. Kelsey Mitchell contributed a team-high 16 for the Fever.  No team has ever had three players average 20 or more points in the same season.  Aces vs Fever marked the 68th game (regular season and playoffs) for Wilson with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds—a feat she has now accomplished in 29.6% of her 230 WNBA games. The Aces, who scored 100 or more points a WNBA-record 11 times in 2023, hit the 90-point mark for the first time in 2024. The Aces were without the services of Kristen Bell (lower right leg injury) and Chelsea Gray (lower left leg injury).

Alysha Clark handed out her 500th career assist on a Martin driving layup in the 3rd quarter. Currently she has 501 assists in her career. Emma Cannon scored 2 points, bringing her career total to 600 points. The Aces were without the services of Kristen Bell (lower right leg injury) and Chelsea Gray (lower left leg injury). The attendance mark of 10,399 is the fourth-largest crowd for an Aces game at Michelob ULTRA Arena. Las Vegas’ most attended home game since the team’s arrival in the Sports & Entertainment Capital of the World is 17,406 at T-Mobile Arena on Sept. 10, 2023, against Phoenix.

During the first quarter Indiana led the Aces 28 to 24. Neither team scored more than 6-straight points and after 3 lead changes and a pair of tied scores, the Fever led 28-24 at the end of the opening stanza. The Fever held an 11-5 advantage on the boards and shot 52.4% from the field to the Aces’ 50%. Plum and Young scored 9 apiece to lead all scorers. Aces turned it around and led Indiana with a final score of 46-38. The Fever held their largest lead of the game, 32-26 at 7:22. Shortly thereafter, the Aces strung together a 20-4 run over a 6:07 span for their first double-digit lead of the night, 46-36. Aliyah Boston scored 6 of the Fever’s points in the quarter. Young led the Aces with 8 points. In outscoring the Fever 22-10, the Aces shot 40% from the field and 36.4% from 3-point range, while holding Indiana to 26.7% of its field goal attempts and 0 of 3 from distance. The Aces, who had just 1 turnover in the quarter, scored 5 points off the Fever’s 5 miscues. The cues dominated the rest of the game ended the third quarter 72-56 and fourth quarter 99-80. 

The Aces held a 58-51 lead with 5:51 to go in the third frame when a Martin 3-pointer sparked a 14-5 run to close the quarter. Wilson scored the first 10 points out of the half, and finished the third quarter with 15 points and 6 caroms. The Aces hit 52.6% of their field goal attempts and held the Fever to 36.8% in the quarter. Kelsey Mitchell scored 10 points for the Fever. The Aces expanded their lead to 23 points, 91-68, with 3:11 remaining, and the Fever never got closer than 16 the rest of the way. Emma Cannon and Dyashia Fair got their first minutes of the season in the final frame. Martin scored 9 for the home side and Lexie Hull had 9 for the Fever. The following day the Aces wived rookie guard Fair The Aces selected Fair with the fourth pick in the second round of the 2024 WNBA Draft. The 2024 Associated Press All-America third team honoree played three seasons for Buffalo starting in 2019-20, before transferring to Syracuse ahead of the 2022-23 season. Over 153 career games, Fair averaged 22.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists, while shooting 35% from 3-point range. She finished her collegiate career ranked third in NCAA Division I history in points scored with 3,403. Fair saw her first action as a pro on Saturday against the Indiana Fever, handing out a pair of assists in four minutes of action. 

Las Vegas hits the road for the first time this season traveling to Minnesota, Wednesday, May 29, for a 5 pm PT tip against the Lynx. The game is being broadcast locally on Fox5 and on the radio at ESPN Las Vegas (100.9 FM & 1100 AM).

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