Mercury lose to Aces in final game of season

Sep 10, 2023, 3:11 PM | Updated: 4:28 pm

Moriah Jefferson #8 of the Phoenix Mercury looks to pass against the Seattle Storm during the first...

Moriah Jefferson #8 of the Phoenix Mercury looks to pass against the Seattle Storm during the first quarter in a WNBA preseason game at Climate Pledge Arena on May 08, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 36 points, making a final statement to repeat as MVP with her sixth 30-point game to defeat the Phoenix Mercury 100-85 Sunday.

It was the final game of the season for both teams.

Kelsey Plum added 30 for Las Vagas (34-6), which wrapped up the top seed when New York lost earlier in the day.

The Aces open the best-of-3 first round at home against Chicago on Wednesday while the Mercury get ready for offseason tasks

Phoenix (9-31) finished a dismal last-place regular season with a franchise record 11-game losing streak. They missed the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Mercury lost all four games to the Aces, with the last being the only one not decided by at least 20 points.

Chelsea Gray had five 3s and 21 points plus eight assists for Las Vegas. Plum had six 3-pointers as the Aces went 14 of 32 behind the arc and shot 53% to hit the century mark for the 11th time, breaking a record Phoenix set in 2010. Wilson had eight rebounds.

The regular-season finale was played at T-Mobile Arena instead of the Aces’ usual Mandalay Bay home with NBA Steph Curry in the crowd of 17,406.

Moriah Jefferson scored 22 points and Brittney Griner 21 for the Mercury with Sug Sutton, coming off the first triple double in franchise history, adding 14.

Wilson had 22 points at halftime as the Aces built a 53-41 lead. Plum had 14 points in the third quarter when Las Vegas outscored the Mercury 30-18 to lead 83-59.

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