Las Vegas Aces officially clinch playoff spot with win over Dream, maintain historic pace

The Las Vegas Aces seem like they haven’t missed a step since winning the WNBA Finals last summer

The Las Vegas Aces’ title defense is officially a go.

The Aces beat the Atlanta Dream 93-72 at Michelob Ultra Arena, which officially earned them a spot in the playoffs. They are the first team in the league to clinch a postseason berth, and they will have now been a playoff team for all but one of their six seasons since relocating to Nevada.

The Aces won their first championship last season, and it feels like they haven’t missed a step one bit this summer. Las Vegas now holds a 24-2 record, and Tuesday’s win marked its eighth straight by at least 10 points. The Aces haven’t lost at home, either, and they are on pace with the 1998 Houston Comets for the most wins in league history through 26 games.

Tuesday night was no different. After a close first quarter, the Aces rattled off a 15-4 run to open the second period and never looked back. They held on to a double-digit lead after three quarters, despite putting up just 15 points in that period, and then erupted on an 18-6 outburst to start the fourth quarter. From there, the Aces simply held on to take the 21-point win without any issue.

Jackie Young led the Aces with 24 points in the win. She shot 10-of-21 and went 4-of-9 from behind the arc. A'ja Wilson added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Las Vegas, and Kierstan Bell added 15 points off the bench. The Aces shot better than 52% from the field as a team, and nearly 48% from behind the arc.

Cheyenne Parker led Atlanta with 19 points after shooting 9-13 from the field. Nia Coffey finished with 14 points. They were the only two Dream players to score in double figures. They went just 4-of-20 from the 3-point line as a team, too.

The Aces need just six more wins to set the WNBA’s regular season record.
The Aces need just six more wins to set the WNBA’s regular season record. (AP/Erin Hooley)

The Aces have 14 games left in their regular season, starting with Sunday’s game against the New York Liberty. They are still without star Candace Parker, too, who announced last week that she underwent surgery to repair a fractured foot.

While there’s still a ways to go, the Aces are on pace to make WNBA history. They need just six more wins to surpass the 2014 Phoenix Mercury’s record mark of 29 wins in a regular season. The Comets lost just three games in the 1998 season, too, when they won their second of four straight titles. Though not losing again the rest of the way is a big ask, the Aces look completely unstoppable right now. It's going to take a lot to interrupt their run.