Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray rally Aces past Mystics 88-77 for fourth straight victory

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson (22) pulls down a rebound between Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins (7) and forward Myisha Hines-Allen (2) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)(AP/Steve Marcus)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jackie Young had 26 points, Chelsea Gray scored 22 and the Las Vegas Aces rallied for their fourth straight victory, beating the Washington Mystics 88-77 on Saturday.

Young sank 8 of 12 shots from the floor, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and 7 of 9 from the free-throw line for Las Vegas (10-6). Gray did her damage on 8-for-9 shooting, hitting all three of her shots from beyond the arc and all three of her foul shots, adding four assists.

Tiffany Hayes scored 17 for the Aces. A’ja Wilson, who leads the league in scoring at 28.0 points per game and rebounding with 11.3 per contest, totaled 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists. It ended a streak of her scoring at least 20 points in every game this season.

Stefanie Dolson finished with 23 points and seven rebounds to lead the way for Washington (4-15). Myisha Hines-Allen had 15 points and five boards. Ariel Atkins scored 13 with five assists.

Hines-Allen had a layup, Atkins sank a jumper and Dolson buried a 3-pointer to cap a 7-0 run and give the Mystics a 15-10 lead with 4:38 left in the first quarter. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough made a 3-pointer to push the Mystics’ lead to 10 inside the final minute, but Gray hit a pull-up jumper with 1.4 seconds left to get the Aces within 28-20.

Gray had the first basket of the second quarter, Hayes followed with two free throws and a layup, and Las Vegas scored the first six points to get within two. Young’s 3-pointer left the Aces trailing 35-34 with 5:18 left before halftime. Dolson answered with a 3-pointer, Julie Vanloo had a layup before connecting from beyond the arc, and Hines-Allen hit from deep to cap an 11-1 run that pushed the Mystics’ advantage to 46-35. Gray sandwiched a 3-pointer around baskets from Kelsey Plum and Young as the Aces scored the final seven points to get within 52-46 at intermission.

Hines-Allen had a three-point play to give Washington a 57-48 lead less than two minutes into the third period. Gray hit two 3-pointers and Kiah Stokes had a layup to cap a 12-2 run as Las Vegas moved ahead 60-59 with 4:49 remaining. Aaliyah Edwards and Dolson scored five points each in a 10-2 spurt and the Mystics reclaimed the lead 69-62 at the 1:41 mark. Hayes hit two free throws and Gray sank three from there to get the Aces within two points heading to the final quarter.

Alysha Clark and Gray opened the fourth with baskets to give Las Vegas the lead. Atkins’ layup pulled Washington even at 73-all with 7:45 left to play. Young hit a turnaround jumper, Wilson added a layup and the two-time defending champions never trailed again.

Las Vegas returns home to host the Indiana Fever on Tuesday. Washington hits the road to play the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday.


AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

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