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Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson scores 53 points, ties WNBA single-game record

Las Vegas Aces forward A'ja Wilson (22) heads upcourt after scoring against the New York Liberty during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)
Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson (22) heads upcourt after scoring against the New York Liberty during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

COLLEGE PARK, Ga. (AP) — A’ja Wilson matched the WNBA record for points in a game with 53 as the Las Vegas Aces beat the short-handed Atlanta Dream 112-100 on Tuesday night.

Wilson equaled the record set on July 17, 2018 by Dallas’ Liz Cambage. Riquna Williams was the only other WNBA player to top 50, scoring 51 for Tulsa on Sept. 8, 2013.

“My teammates kept giving me the basketball in my spaces and I just wanted to return the favor,” Wilson said in an on-court interview. “They tried so hard to get me the ball, and it’s not easy. I think we just tightened up on the defensive end and it helped our offense flow.”

Wilson had 51 points when was fouled with 51.3 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and made both free throws. She finished 16 of 23 from the field and 20 of 21 at the free-throw line.

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Wilson, the 2020 league MVP, is averaging 22.3 points this season, third in the league behind Seattle Jewell Loyd and New York’s Breanna Stewart.

Kelsey Plum added 20 points and Chelsea Gray had 16 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds for league-best Las Vegas (29-4), which is seeking a second straight title. The Aces reached 100-plus points for the ninth time this season.

Las Vegas led 56-55 at halftime. Wilson had 22 points and Atlanta guard Rhyne Howard scored 21 before the break. The Aces went 20 of 21 from the free-throw line and the Dream made all 17 attempts in the half. The teams finished with a combined 69 free-throw attempts.

Howard finished with 27 points and Haley Jones added 23 for Atlanta (16-17). Danielle Robinson had 17 points, with 11 coming at the free-throw line. Allisha Gray, averaging a team-high 17.5 points per game, did not play due to an ankle injury.

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