Lynx trounce Aces behind Aerial Powers’ career-high 32 points – InForum

Facing one of the WNBA’s top teams for the second time in three days, the Minnesota Lynx knew they had to get better production from their starting five while doing a better job in their own end against Las Vegas.

Check and check.

Aerial Powers scored a career-high 32 points and Minnesota established a season high in points, trouncing the Aces 102-71 Sunday.

Moriah Jefferson and Rachel Banham each had 13 points, and Sylvia Fowles scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which has won four of six, scoring at least 93 points in three of those wins and reaching the century mark twice.

The Lynx (7-15) shot 50 percent from the field and tied a season high with a dozen 3-pointers.

On a night the No. 32 of assistant coach Rebekkah Brunson became the third jersey retired by the team, Minnesota did the former rebounding machine proud, finishing with a 52-26 domination on the glass.

The only player in WNBA history to win five titles, including four with the Lynx, Brunson holds the team record with 2,158 rebounds: 1,470 defensive and 688 offensive. Her 1,166 career offensive rebounds remain most in league history, and her 3,356 total rebounds are third-best all-time. She played for Minnesota from 2010-18.

Las Vegas (15-6), which entered the night averaging 89.9 points per game, couldn’t put an offensive run together and was held to a season low in points. The Aces averaged 93.3 points in three wins over the Lynx earlier this season.

Coach Cheryl Reeve spoke pregame about wanting a better performance from Lynx starters.

She got that 180-degree turn early. Minnesota shot 66.7 percent and led 33-15 after one quarter.

Creating great looks aplenty with everyone playing their role and moving better without the ball, Minnesota scored the game’s first 13 points. In Friday’s 91-85 loss, the Lynx trailed 13-2 early.

Powers was a catalyst by scoring 19 points in the first half as Minnesota led by as much as 20 and held a 49-35 lead at intermission.

A seesaw third quarter turned Minnesota’s way on a couple hustle plays by Powers, the first of which began a 16-6 run.

With the shot clock about to expire, Powers scored on a drive and made the ensuing free throw. A bit more than a minute later, Powers seemingly came out of nowhere, ala Brunson, to snag a loose rebound, keeping the ball with the Lynx, who ultimately got a jumper from Jefferson for a 67-51 lead.

Las Vegas turned the ball over and committed a foul 11 seconds later. With the 7,603 in attendance roaring, Powers put her hand to her ear wanting even more noise. She also slapped hands with a young fan in the front row wearing a No. 3 jersey.

An 11-0 run, capped by a Bridget Carleton 3-pointer put Minnesota up 78-54 in the quarter’s final minute.

Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray led Las Vegas with 12 points apiece; A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young each had 10.

Nikolina Milić was signed to a second seven-day contract, her third inking with the Lynx this season.

Signed to a hardship exemption May 6, the forward played in 20 games before Sunday, including a trio of starts, averaging 6.5 points and 3.3 rebounds, including a 23-point outing. She was released June 23 and signed to a seven-day contract three days later.

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