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Aces guard breaks franchise record during win over Fever

Updated July 31, 2022 - 4:31 pm

Aces guard Kelsey Plum isn’t interested in records.

“I really don’t care,” she said. “I just wanted to make sure we handled our business.”

Plum scored 19 points during the third quarter of Sunday’s 94-69 win against the Indiana Fever at the Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, setting a new franchise record for points in a single quarter. The former Washington Husky finished with 26 points, leading all scorers as the Aces won their fourth consecutive game.

However, Aces coach Becky Hammon, who previously shared the record with Plum, might care a little more.

“I wish someone would’ve told me because I would’ve pulled her out,” Hammon said.

The Aces coach laughs. She’s joking, of course.

“She’s going to roll through all the records,” Hammon said. “I hope she does.”

Along with Plum, the Aces got production from All-Stars A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young, and reserve forward Theresa Plaisance, all of whom scored 13. Reserve center Kiah Stokes added six points and 10 rebounds.

The Aces (22-8) are 7-1 in WNBA play since the All-Star break. Their 2022 Commissioner’s Cup final victory does not count towards their overall record. Sunday was the Aces’ eighth consecutive win over the Fever.

Fever rookie NaLyssa Smith had an 18-point, 13-rebound performance and reserve guard Destanni Henderson had 16 points.

The Aces continue their road trip at 4 p.m. Tuesday when they play the Washington Mystics at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington D.C.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

1. Plum’s historic quarter

Plum didn’t enter the third quarter with much momentum. She had a fairly pedestrian first half, scoring seven points on 3-of-6 shooting and missed her only 3-pointer.

“I’ve learned as the season’s gone on to let it come to me and in the third, we needed a little boost,” she said. “I just tried to be more aggressive.”

Plum started to find her shot halfway through the quarter. She attacked the rim, then stepped beyond the arc and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in quick succession.

She finished the third quarter with 6 of 6 from the field.

“She’s a bucket-getter,” Hammon said.

2. Stokes continues to earn minutes

Stokes may have cemented a role for herself Sunday in Hammon’s playoff rotation.

The 6-foot-3-inch center scored six points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had two steals.

“She’s going to help us down the stretch,” Hammon said.

Stokes’ playing time was inconsistent before the All-Star break. Hammon has since carved out a larger role for her during the past month, appreciating her basketball intelligence, rebounding and defensive solidity.

“She’s going to continue to get more and more minutes,” Hammon said.

3. Fever miss Mitchell

Indiana’s difficult season got tougher this weekend. The Fever (5-27) announced Saturday leading scorer Kelsey Mitchell will miss the rest of the season with a plantar fascia tear in her left foot.

Mitchell had terrorized opposing defenses this season, averaging 18.4 points per game. She left an offensive void Sunday in the Fever’s first game without its No. 1 scoring option.

The Fever made 31 percent of their field goals and 28 percent of their 3-point attempts. Besides Smith, no Indiana starter scored more than eight points.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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