BRADENTON, Fla. — Angel McCoughtry totaled 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and the Las Vegas Aces used a big second half to pull away from the Minnesota Lynx 104-89 Thursday, Sept. 10, at IMG Academy.
The win keeps the Aces (16-4) in contention for the top overall seed in the playoffs, which begin next week. Las Vegas can clinch that spot with wins over Los Angeles on Saturday and Seattle on Sunday.
The Lynx (13-8), meanwhile, are still competing with Phoenix (13-8) for a first-round bye. Minnesota finishes its regular season against Indiana on Saturday, while the Mercury closes Friday night against Seattle.
Las Vegas took control in the third quarter, outscoring the Lynx 25-15 to lead by as many as 14 points. That lead stretched to 21 points in the fourth quarter, before Minnesota staged a late mini rally.
The Aces, who rank last in the WNBA in 3-point attempts this season, went 10 of 18 from beyond the arc. It was the most 3-pointers the Aces have made in a game since moving to Las Vegas from San Antonio in 2018.
A'ja Wilson, an MVP frontrunner this season, finished with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Kayla McBride added 21 points, including a 5-of-7 mark from 3-point range, and five assists.
Crystal Dangerfield, a Rookie of the Year contender, led the Lynx with 24 points while adding three rebounds and four assists. Napheesa Collier scored all of her 17 points in the first half, and added 11 rebounds and five assists. Damiris Dantas finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
The first half featured multiple runs by both teams.
After Las Vegas built a seven-point first-quarter lead, Minnesota closed the period on a 14-3 surge to take a 29-25 lead on a nifty drive and and-1 finish by Dangerfield with three seconds left in the frame.
In the second quarter, a 3-pointer by McCoughtry sparked an 8-0 run to put the Aces up 43-37 with 5:56 to play in the half. But Minnesota clawed back, tying the score at 54 on a Collier 3-pointer with 1:13 to play. McBride answered with a jumper with 24.2 seconds remaining to give the Aces a two-point lead at the break.