Young has 30, aces top Sparks 94-85 to go 2-0 without Hammon
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jackie Young scored 30 points on 12 of 18 shooting in the third quarter to lead defending WNBA champion Las Vegas to a 94-85 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.
Down 10 at halftime, Las Vegas came back, making 12 of 16 shots to outscore the Sparks 31–17 and take a 67–63 lead in the fourth quarter. Aja Wilson scored six-straight points before Young made consecutive layups to put the Aces up 61–59 at the 2:34 mark.
Wilson finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds (2–0) for Las Vegas. Chelsea Gray had 16 points and eight assists and Candace Parker added 10 against the team she spent her first 13 seasons with.
Gray’s pullup jumper with 1:30 to play gave the Aces an 89–79 lead.
Chyni Ogwumike led the Sparks (1-1) with 19 points, Lexie Brown added 15 and three players each scored 11.
The Sparks were without leader Nneka Ogwumike due to a non-COVID illness and Dierica Hamby, two months after giving birth, started in her place.
Hamby, who scored 11 points, joined L.A. in an offseason trade with Las Vegas and then said she was bullied and manipulated into becoming pregnant. This led to an investigation by the WNBA and a two-game suspension for ace coach Becky Hyman, who denied the allegations.
Hyman will return to the bench when the teams meet again in Las Vegas on Saturday, where the Aces will receive their championship rings.
Brown made all four of his shots, including two 3-pointers, and scored 10 points to help the Sparks take a 25–15 lead after one quarter.
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