Aces hold off Mercury in Game 1 of WNBA semifinals

Sep 28, 2021, 9:23 PM | Updated: Sep 30, 2021, 12:25 pm
Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) is guarded by Las Vegas Aces center Kiah Stokes (41) an...

Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner (42) is guarded by Las Vegas Aces center Kiah Stokes (41) and forward A'ja Wilson (22) during the first half of Game 1 in the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

(AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

LAS VEGAS — Kelsey Plum scored 20 of her 25 points in the second half, and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Phoenix Mercury 96-90 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals.

Plum, the fourth-year guard who won an Olympic gold medal in 3-on-3 basketball, had 12 points in the third quarter as Las Vegas pushed its lead into double digits.

Riquna Williams scored 24 points for the Aces, who will host Game 2 on Thursday.

Phoenix, which won single-elimination games against the New York Liberty and defending champion Seattle Storm to reach the semis, led 30-21 after the first quarter.

Brittney Griner had 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Phoenix. Diana Taurasi, playing in her second game since returning to the lineup after sustaining a sprained ankle, scored 20 points on 6-of-17 shooting.

Williams scored 14 points in the opening 10 minutes to keep it close.

The Aces shot 56% (14 of 25) in the second to take a 52-49 lead at halftime. Las Vegas took its first lead with 4:05 left in the first half on a 3-pointer from Plum.

A’ja Wilson finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. She had a personal 6-0 run to push an 85-81 lead to 10 points with 3:08 remaining.

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