Sun fall to A’ja, Aces

sun fall to a’ja, aces

A’ja Wilson powers past Alyssa Thomas during the Aces’ win over the Sun.

On Friday night, the Las Vegas Aces handed the Connecticut Sun just their second—and largest—loss of the season, a 85-74 defeat. The Aces dominated the Sun for most of the night, blowing the game open in the second quarter to take a 17-point at the half.

A’ja Wilson, the current frontrunner for MVP, dominated on both ends of the floor and finished with 26 points, going 9-for-17 from the field and 8-for-8 from the line along with 16 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. “You prep yourself for these moments so they’re not unfamiliar to you,” Wilson said postgame. “You love to be in those moments that shine the brightest. I lean on my teammates a lot so I can be the best teammate for them.”

Entering the game, the two-time defending champions were 7-6 on the year, but they’re now 2-0 with All-Star point guard Chelsea Gray in the mix. Gray only scored four points on 1-for-6 shooting, but she was a game-high plus-19 in 17 minutes off the bench and undeniably made an impact.

For the Sun, Brionna Jones led the way with 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting, while also grabbing seven rebounds. She began the game with a strong 11-point first quarter, but scored just seven points the rest of the way. DiJonai Carrington added 19 points, but shot just 5-for-15 from the field. Alyssa Thomas and DeWanna Bonner combined for their lowest scoring output of the season, just 12 points. Thomas finished with six points on 2-for-6 shooting with seven assists, while Bonner had six points on 2-for-10 shooting.

Connecticut looked significantly better with Jones on the court than off of it; the Sun played the Aces even in the minutes she played, whereas the rest of Connecticut’s starters had significantly negative plus-minuses (Thomas finished a minus-17, Bonner a minus-18, Tyasha Harris a minus-19 and DiJonai Carrington a minus-10). Jones inches closer to pre-injury form as she continues to recover from the Achilles tear she suffered last year.

The Sun made a push in the third to cut the lead to single digits, but they were never able to get closer than seven points as the Aces continuously responded with timely buckets. Kelsey Plum put up 18 points on 6-for-14 shooting, while Alysha Clark added 11 points in 15 minutes off the bench.

The Sun have lost just two games this season and maintain the best record in the league (13-2). But, they fall to 0-2 against Finals teams from last season: the Liberty, who they lost to by seven points on June 8, and now the Aces. For most of the season, they held the league’s best point differential, but now have the third-highest (plus-8.8) after the Liberty (plus-9.0) and the Lynx (plus-10.6).

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