Aces clinch top seed in Sue Bird’s last regular season WNBA game
The stars were in full force in Sue Bird’s final regular season game of her illustrious career. Sue’s teammate Jewell Loyd scored her personal best 38 points and Breanna Stewart added 21 points and 15 rebounds to continue a three-game streak in which the Storm have scored at least 96 points. However, that wasn’t enough to combat equally great performances from Chelsea Gray and A’ja Wilson who led the Las Vegas Aces to a 109-100 victory on Sunday to clinch the No. 1 seed and home court advantage throughout the playoffs.
Gray herself logged in a career-high 33 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and nine assists while Wilson had 25 points and 10 rebounds for Las Vegas, which finished the regular season at 26-10. The game was a see-saw affair, both teams took their best shots at each other. The Storm went up 12 points (48-36) when Las Vegas regained momentum and finished the first half with a 14-2 run to cut its deficit to 51-50 at the break.Briann January, who scored 11 points in her second straight outing, knocked down a three-pointer that gave the Storm a 76-66 lead with 1:58 left in the third.
Las Vegas guard Chelsea Gray began the spurt with a mid range jumper followed by baskets from Jackie Young, Kelsey Plum and A’ja Wilson. The Aces stole the momentum with a 78-76 lead. “The turnovers, the live ball ones, you can’t have them,” Quinn said when asked what contributed to the momentum shift. “At least if we’re going to turn the ball over, then they have to take it out from the side, so we can set our defense. Careless with the ball and not being poised. We got to eliminate those.”
As far as playoffs implications are concerned Las Vegas defeated Chicago and Seattle in consecutive games to clinch the top playoff spot, having defeated the defending champion Sky 89-78 on Thursday.Seattle was already assured of the No. 4 seed and will open the playoffs at home against No. 5 Washington on Thursday. The Aces' opening-round opponent will be eighth-seeded Phoenix Mercury.