Mercury fell to Las Vegas Aces 99-79


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Phoenix Mercury fall to Las Vegas at home

Preston Grace, Reporter

It was a matinee game on Wednesday afternoon as the Phoenix Mercury tipped off against the Las Vegas Aces at the Footprint Center at 12:30 p.m.

With the new season only a quarter of the way through, and Suns players Devin Booker, Damion Lee, Saben Lee, and former player Cam Johnson looking on from courtside, the Mercury are already dealing with key injuries to Brittany Griner (hip) and Diana Taurasi (hamstring).

In the recent 2023 WNBA Week 4 Power Rankings, Phoenix was ranked dead last at No.12.

The Mercury came into this game hoping to stack the deck against the Aces and snap their current three-game skid. A tall order, considering Las Vegas currently holds the best record in the WNBA.

But the cards didn’t play out that way for Phoenix.

The Aces came out hot from the get-go, shooting six of 10 from the 3-point line, and grabbing 12 rebounds to the Mercury’s four, leading to a commanding 32-19 lead after the first quarter.

The Aces stayed hot as the midday desert, continuing to dominate the Mercury throughout the second quarter.

Jackie Young, A’Ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum all scored double figures for the Aces in the first half.

Young had 16 points and three assists, Wilson had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Plum registered 10 points and three assists.

Mercury guard Sug Sutton (eight points and two assists), and forward Michaela Onyenwere (nine points and four rebounds) were bright spots for Phoenix.

Phoenix went to the locker room trailing 57-40 at the half.

The second half of the game seemed eerily similar to the first, with Las Vegas continuing to dominate.

The Aces’ size proved too much to handle for the Mercury, as they were out rebounded 32 to 26, and couldn’t stop Las Vegas from scoring 40 points in the paint.

In the end, Las Vegas came out on top 99-79.

Vegas shot very well from the 3-point line, racking up 11 of 22 (50%) as a team.

Three of the Aces’ starters finished with at least 20 points Young (23), Wilson (20) and Plum (21).

Sutton finished with a career-high 21 points for Phoenix and went 9-15 from the field.

“I’ve just been taking it day by day. Coming in and getting better every single day and every single game, just trying to give everything I can for the team,” said Sutton during the post-game press conference. “I’m thankful to be in this position, even though I would rather have a win, but I’m still happy to be here and see that all of the hard work is paying off.”

Megan Gustafson had a great day off the bench for Phoenix, with 10 points and 10 rebounds, matching up against A’Ja Wilson.

“She’s (Wilson) a great player and very physical, but I also know that I’m strong too, so I have to use that to my advantage,” said Gustafson. “They had a lot of post depth, so I knew that going into it that I needed to bring that energy off of the bench. The starters get us going, but the bench has to maintain that energy.”

Mercury Head Coach Vanessa Nygaard is anxious for the return of her star players.

“We are hopeful to have some of the players that were unable to play tonight back. I think that’ll help us a lot. It will account for a lot of points and a lot of rebounds, which should help us,” Nygaard told reporters.

The Phoenix Mercury will pack their bags and hope to end their losing streak when they head to Seattle for a date with the Storm on June 24 at 6:00 p.m.