A'ja Wilson scored 26 points and Angel McCoughtry hit for 24 Friday night, while teammate Jackie Young canned a pair of big buckets down the stretch as the Las Vegas Aces held off the Los Angeles Sparks 86-82 in a matchup of WNBA contenders in Bradenton, Fla.
Young came off the bench to add 15, including a tough runner from the right side with 53.4 seconds left that gave Las Vegas (4-2) an 82-77 edge. Reserve Dearica Hamby contributed 10 points and nine rebounds as the Aces hit 50 percent of their shots.
Candace Parker stuffed the stat sheet for Los Angeles (3-3), finishing with 20 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Parker's 3-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining pulled the Sparks within 84-82, but McCoughtry sank two free throws to seal the outcome.
Sydney Wiese chipped in 18 points for Los Angeles, but just two came after halftime. Chelsea Gray scored 16, but made just 7 of 19 shots. The Sparks sank just 30 of 72 attempts from the field and were outrebounded 42-33.
Wilson, who scored 12 fourth-quarter points, gave Las Vegas the lead for good when she drained a 21-footer from the top of the key for a 72-71 edge with 5:17 left.
Las Vegas got off to a fast start, building a 14-9 lead just before the halfway mark of the first quarter on a layup by Danielle Robinson. The lead stayed at five late in the period before a Te'a Cooper layup pulled Los Angeles within 22-19 going to the second.
The Aces opened the second quarter with nine straight points for a 31-19 cushion at the 8:14 mark, thanks to a Wilson layup. The Sparks gradually reeled them in for the half's remainder, using the hot shooting of Wiese.
Parker's pocket pass found an open Wiese in the left corner for a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining, capping a 16-point half and enabling Los Angeles to head to the locker room trailing by only 43-42.
--Field Level Media