A'ja Wilson scored 34 points, including 14 in the third quarter as the Las Vegas Aces beat the Dallas Wings 97-83 on Sunday in the opening game of the WNBA semifinal playoff series.
Wilson, who earlier in the week earned the league's Defensive Player of the Year award, also had eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Kelsey Plum added 25 points for the top-seeded Aces, Jackie Young scored 19 and Chelsea Gray 13. Young also pulled down 10 rebounds.
Satou Sabally led the No. 4 seed Wings with 16 points while Arike Ogunbowale added 12.
The Aces dominated the first half, leading 45-36 on a Plum 3-pointer with 2:39 left. The Wings cut the lead to 49-45 at the half on a Sabally 3-pointer with 23 seconds to go. After a Kalani Brown steal, Ogunbowale missed a 3 at the buzzer that would have cut the lead to one at the half.
Wilson had 18 points and five rebounds in the first half while Plum added 12 points, all coming in the second quarter.
Howard had nine points in the half for the Wings.
The Aces built a six-point lead in the first quarter, but the Wings cut the lead to 20-19 by the end of the quarter.
The two teams resume their best-of-five series Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
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