Jackie Young hadn’t scored 20-plus points in a game since June 5. The time before that was just 10 days prior when she dropped 27 on the Phoenix Mercury to give her Most Improved Player campaign manager A’ja Wilson something major to promote.
On Wednesday night at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas, Young broke her career-high set on that May 26th night with 29 points to go along with 10 rebounds as her Las Vegas Aces avenged two earlier losses to the Minnesota Lynx with a major, confidence-boosting, 102-81 win.
“I think it’s just being aggressive from the start,” Young said of her success. “Whenever I’m hesitant, it’s not gonna be a good night for me. But I just came out aggressive and Chelsea (Gray) was getting me the ball.”
Young was 14-of-19 from the field while Gray (eight points, four steals) dished out a career-high 14 assists and Wilson notched 20 points, six rebounds and two steals. Riquna Williams, Dearica Hamby and Kelsey Plum were all key as well with 16, 14 and 13 points, respectively.
The Aces improved to 21-8 while the Lynx fell to 18-10.
Phoenix Mercury (19-10) over Atlanta Dream (7-21), 76-75
Instead of looking to pass to superstar Skylar Diggins-Smith on the right wing with time winding down, Phoenix’s Shey Peddy — the buzzer-beating heroine of a playoff game last year — took a step-back three and was fouled from behind by Elizabeth Williams with 3.8 seconds to go. Peddy (team-high 18 points) made all three free throws to give the Mercury a 76-75 lead. Atlanta’s Courtney Williams (20 points, 14 rebounds, five assists) then missed a contested jumper from the right baseline at the buzzer.