Aces carry 5-game win streak into another matchup vs. Mystics

WNBA: Finals-Connecticut Sun at Las Vegas AcesSep 11, 2022; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Aces forward Aja Wilson (22) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Connecticut Sun 67-64 in game one of the 2022 WNBA Finals at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Mystics have been checking off some recent accomplishments, but there will be a bigger task ahead Thursday night.

The Mystics will take on the host Las Vegas Aces, who are riding a season-best five-game winning streak.

“Our want-to factor, our wanting to be better for each other, kind of just stepped up,” said Aces star A’ja Wilson, who’s averaging a WNBA-best 27.0 points per game.

The Aces (11-6) also will aim for a second victory against the Mystics in a three-game stretch after they earned an 88-77 victory Saturday in Washington, D.C. All of the victories in Las Vegas’ winning streak have been by at least 11 points.

The Aces’ 88-69 romp past the visiting Indiana Fever on Tuesday included a season-high 34 points from Kelsey Plum.

The Mystics (5-15) will be making their second stop on a four-game road stretch. Washington beat the Los Angeles Sparks 82-80 on Tuesday with a big fourth-quarter comeback.

“I feel like we never give up,” Mystics guard Julie Vanloo said. “We showed we learned from the past. We just kept going, kept putting the foot on the gas pedal and didn’t stop.”

Since opening the season with 12 consecutive losses, the Mystics have won five of their last eight games.

Washington had five different leading scorers across its last six games, with Shatori Walker-Kimbrough topping the team’s scoring list for the first time this season with 17 points at Los Angeles.

Stefanie Dolson, who’s the team’s only repeat player with that distinction during the past six games, scored a season-high 23 points in last weekend’s meeting with Las Vegas.

Wilson had a season-low 11 points in Saturday’s game in Washington but bounced back with 28 points on Tuesday.

“That’s like a normal day at the office. That’s absurd,” Plum said about Wilson scoring one more point than her season average. “I think we should put it in perspective.”

Aces guard Chelsea Gray has played five games this season after returning from a foot injury and has eased her way back with averages of 7.8 points and 21.2 minutes.

“When Chelsea gets back, everyone kind of gets in their flow and that’s what you’ve seen now,” Plum said. “Chelsea is the reason we’re able to get out, run, get into space and then players are just able to make plays.”

The Aces had their best game defensively by holding Indiana under 70 points.

“It has been a more focused, purposeful attention to detail,” Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon said of the defensive upgrades.

–Field Level Media

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