The Las Vegas Aces made a statement Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. They opened the playoffs with a convincing 87-59 win over the Chicago Sky before a crowd of 12,927. Five Aces players finished in double figures and Chelsea Gray was the high scorer with 20 points.
The Aces jumped out to a 27-15 advantage at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Forward Alanna Smith had three personal fouls at the end of the first quarter and wound up playing just 21 minutes on the night.
Las Vegas shot 53% in the first half and the Aces defense held Chicago to 23 second half points. The Sky started to chip away a little early in the third, 44-26, but Jackie Young of Las Vegas hit a triple and was fouled on the play. She completed the four-point play and the Sky could draw no closer.
Other Aces players in double figures were Young with 18, Kelsey Plum added 16, Aj'a Wilson had an off night and wound up with 14 points, and Alysha Clark scored 13 off the bench. It was a big night on the boards for Kiah Stokes as she pulled down 15 rebounds. Courtney Williams led the Sky with 11 points.
The Aces are hoping to close out the short series on Sunday, when they return to Michelob Ultra Arena at 12 noon. If they win Game 2, they won't have to travel to Chicago for a third and deciding game and Las Vegas can rest and prepare for the Western Conference Final. The Aces would play the winner of the Dallas-Atlanta series, which starts in Dallas Friday night.
The Aces have won all four meetings against Chicago this season.