Aces use huge first half to rout Liberty

NEW YORK (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 20 of her 25 points in a record-breaking first half to help the Las Vegas Aces rout the New York Liberty 108-74 on Thursday.

Las Vegas (17-7) jumped all over New York, scoring the first 12 points on the way to a 37-13 lead after one quarter. Chelsea Gray had 11 of her 16 points in the opening period, making three 3-pointers. Las Vegas was a sizzling 14...

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NEW YORK (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 20 of her 25 points in a record-breaking first half to help the Las Vegas Aces rout the New York Liberty 108-74 on Thursday.

Las Vegas (17-7) jumped all over New York, scoring the first 12 points on the way to a 37-13 lead after one quarter. Chelsea Gray had 11 of her 16 points in the opening period, making three 3-pointers. Las Vegas was a sizzling 14 for 18 from the field, including making seven of eight 3s.

The Aces extended the advantage in the second quarter and were up 71-36 at the half.

Their total was the most ever scored in the first half of a WNBA game, surpassing the previous record of 69 tallied by Phoenix against Minnesota in 2010.

It also came roughly 40 hours after New York put up a league-record 73 points in the second half of Tuesday’s 107-101 loss to the Aces.

Natasha Howard scored 19 points to lead New York (9-15).

MERCURY 80, MYSTICS 75

PHOENIX (AP) — Diana Taurasi scored 29 points, Skylar Diggins-Smith added 24 and the Mercury rallied for a victory over the Mystics.

Taurasi sank five 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds for Phoenix (11-15), which trailed 26-11 after the first quarter. Taurasi scored 13 of the Mercury’s 32 points in the second quarter to get Phoenix within 45-43 at the half.

Diggins-Smith had nine assists and made all eight of her free throws — the final two with 15.8 seconds left to cap the scoring. Sophie Cunningham scored 10 of her 13 points in the second period and had seven rebounds.

Elena Delle Donne finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for Washington (15-11). Ariel Atkins added 14.

Wings 92, LYNX 87

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Arike Ogunbowale scored 32 points and the Dallas Wings saw most of a 21-point halftime lead disappear before holding off the Lynx.

Ogunbowale hit four 3-pointers and was 12-for-24 from the field for Dallas (11-13). She had 19 points in the first half to help the Wings take a 48-27 lead into intermission.

Minnesota (9-16) stormed back in the third quarter behind reserve Rachel Banham and Sylvia Fowles.

Banham scored 16 of her 24 points in the final 4:30 of the fourth quarter, twice getting Minnesota within three points, but Allisha Gray, who scored 17, and Ogunbowale both hit two free throws in the final 17.6 seconds to preserve the win.

SKY 80, SPARKS 68

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rookie Rebekah Gardner came off the bench to score 18 points and grab 10 rebounds to lift the Sky to a win over the Sparks.

Gardner hit 8 of 11 shots, had four offensive boards and four assists to help Chicago improve to a WNBA-best 18-6. Fellow reserve Azura Stevens scored 14, hitting 6 of 7 shots with two 3-pointers. Candace Parker had 11 rebounds but missed all 11 of her shots and didn’t score.

Nneka Ogwumike had 16 points and eight rebounds for Los Angeles (10-14), while younger sister Chiney Ogwumike added 14 points and 13 boards. Katie Lou Samuelson and Brittney Sykes both scored 12.

The Sky trailed 17-16 after one quarter before outscoring the Sparks 52-31 over the next two.

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