Plum scores 34 and Aces beat Fever 88-69 in front of the fifth-largest crowd in WNBA history


LAS VEGAS — Kelsey Plum scored 34 points and the Las Vegas Aces beat the Indiana Fever 88-69 on Tuesday night in front of the fifth-largest crowd in WNBA history.

Playing in front of 20,366 fans in the largest regular-season crowd at a WNBA game since 1999, the two-time defending champion Aces won their fifth straight.

A’ja Wilson added 28 points and nine rebounds, while Jackie Young had 15 points and 10 assists. Kiah Stokes grabbed 12 rebounds.

While Plum led all scorers, she showered Wilson with compliments postgame.

“You know she really averages 28 a game, like that’s just a normal day at the office,” said Plum, who has 3,002 points, good for 87th on the WNBA career list. “That’s absurd. You realize that, right? And everyone’s doubling and tripling and game-planning, and it really doesn’t matter. I think that we need to put into perspective. Just another night at the office, we take it for granted, but we’re watching one of the greatest players of all time in front of our eyes.”

Indiana’s All-Star contingent of Kelsey Mitchell, Aliyah Boston and Caitlin Clark combined for 54 points — 78.2% of the team’s scoring. All three were named to the WNBA All-Star team that will play the U.S. Olympic team in Phoenix on July 20.

Plum, Wilson, Young and Chelsea Gray are all on Team USA.

Mitchell led the Fever with 23 points, while Clark finished with 13 points and 11 assists. Boston had 18 points and 11 rebounds, and NaLyssa Smith grabbed 14 boards for Indiana.

“I think we missed quite a few shots that we usually make,” Clark said. “It’s tough to beat a team like this not being able to score the ball at the rate they did. … There were moments where we played really good basketball, our third quarter was really great and we come out in the fourth and we didn’t start well at all and the game was kind of over from there.”

The Fever did their best to duplicate their comeback on Sunday, when they rallied from 15 down to beat Phoenix. After falling behind by as much as 11 early in the third quarter, the Fever rode the hot hand of Clark to draw closer.

After a dismal first half, Clark keyed a 12-6 run to start the third. The Fever trailed by four heading into the final quarter.

But the Aces opened the fourth on a 14-0 run. When Mitchell scored Indiana’s first points of the final period it was too late.

Las Vegas used a 15-8 run to open the second quarter, bolstered by 10 points from Wilson, to open a 41-32 lead. That’s when Clark scored her first bucket of the game, getting the Fever within seven. The Aces carried a 46-37 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Clark struggled from the field in the first 20 minutes, making just 1 of 7 from the floor, including going 0 for 4 from 3-point range.

UP NEXT

Fever: Host New York on Saturday.

Aces: Host Washington on Thursday

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AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball



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