LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Aces remain in the hunt for the top seed in the WNBA playoffs after a superb finish Sunday in a nationally televised game against the host Seattle Storm.
Kelsey Plum hit a clutch 3-pointer in the final minute and A’ja Wilson scored a team-high 29 points in an 89-81 victory at Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena that stretched the Aces’ lead in the Western Conference to three games over the second-place Storm.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Aces lead the West with a 23-10 record; the leaders in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Sky, own the WNBA’s best record, 25-8. Each team has three games left in the regular season, which ends Aug. 14, including a Sky versus Aces clash Thursday at Michelob ULTRA Arena in the Mandalay Bay.
The team with the league’s best record will have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Aces led most of the way and had to fight off several rallies by Seattle. Plum, who finished with 16 points, made a 3-pointer from the corner with 33.3 seconds left to boost the Aces’ lead to 88-79.
Sunday’s victory all but clinched the Western Conference championship for the Aces. Seattle, 20-13, has clinched a playoff spot and finishes its season with a game against the Aces at Michelob ULTRA Arena.
Sunday’s game marked the last regular-season home game for Seattle’s Sue Bird, one of the most successful players in WNBA history. Bird, 41, has announced this will be her final season.
“I’m not going to lie, it kind of sucks to lose my last game,” Bird joked with the crowd –18,100, the largest for a home game in franchise history — after the loss. ” But you know what, I lost my first game too. So it’s OK.”