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Young has 30, Aces top Sparks to go 2-0 without Hammon

Barry Gossage / National Basketball Association / Getty

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jackie Young scored 30 points on 12-of-18 shooting and defending WNBA champion Las Vegas took control in the third quarter en route to a 94-85 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.

Down 10 at halftime, Las Vegas stormed back by making 12 of 16 shots to outscore the Sparks 31-17 and take a 67-63 lead into the fourth quarter. Aja Wilson scored six-straight points before Young had consecutive layups to put the Aces up 61-59 at the 2:34 mark.

Wilson finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for Las Vegas (2-0). Chelsea Gray added 16 points and eight assists and Candance Parker 10 against the team she spent her first 13 season with.

Gray’s pullup jumper with 1:30 to play gave the Aces an 89-79 lead.

Chiney Ogwumike led the Sparks (1-1) with 19 points, Lexie Brown had 15 and three players scored 11.

The Sparks were without leader Nneka Ogwumike because of a non-COVID illness and Dearica 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 she said she had been bullied and manipulated for being pregnant. That led to a WNBA investigation and a two-game suspension for Aces coach Becky Hammon, who denied the accusations.

Hammon will return to the bench when the teams have a rematch on Saturday in Las Vegas at which the Aces will receive their championship rings.

Brown made all four of her 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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