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.
Aja 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.
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.
MERCURY 90, LYNX 81
PHOENIX (AP) — Diana Taurasi had 23 points and 10 assists, and Phoenix hit 11 3-pointers in the first half on the way to a win over Minnesota.
Phoenix went 5 of 6 from 3-point range to open a 27-18 lead after one quarter. The Mercury made 11 of 17 3s in the first half, taking a 57-40 lead. Taurasi had three 3s and 15 points.
Taurasi finished 4 of 9 from 3-point range, giving her 1,300 3s and extending her WNBA record. Sue Bird is second with 1,001.
The Mercury made 13 of 28 behind the arc and the Lynx were 3 of 18.
Brittney Griner added 19 points for Phoenix (1-2), Sug Sutton had 14 off the bench and Moriah Jefferson and Sophie Cunningham both had three 3-pointers and 13 points.
Aerial Powers paced the Lynx (0-3) with 20 points off the bench. Jessica Shepherd and Diamond Miller both had 13 points and Tiffany Mitchell added 12.