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Aces’ Chelsea Gray hits game-winning jumper to cap 21-point comeback win over Mystics

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The Las Vegas Aces’ first game after the Olympic break got off to a rough start, but it ended in spectacular fashion. After trailing by as much as 21, and by 14 going into the fourth quarter, the Aces staged an incredible comeback to stun the Washington Mystics, 84-83, thanks to Chelsea Gray’s last-second jumper. 

With less than 40 seconds to play, the Aces trailed by three points and had the ball. They went quick out of the timeout, and got A’ja Wilson open for a mid-range jumper that she knocked down to make it a one-point game. Then, after getting a stop on the other end, the Aces had the ball with 12 seconds left and a chance to win. 

Coach Bill Laimbeer put it in Gray’s hands and let the veteran point guard go to work. She came off a screen from Wilson, got the switch and froze Tina Charles with a mean pull-back dribble to create some space. From there, she rose up for a smooth fadeaway and caught nothing but net. A few seconds later, the Aces were victorious. 

Gray’s jumper capped a remarkable turnaround, as the Aces outscored the Mystics, 29-14, in the fourth quarter. In fact, her shot gave the Aces their first lead since the opening possessions of the game, when they led, 2-0. Gray finished the game with just eight points, but she hit the biggest shot and also added 11 assists. 

In addition to the thrill of a game winner, this was a massive victory for the Aces in the race for a top-two seed. Earlier in the day, the Seattle Storm lost to the Chicago Sky, while the Connecticut Sun beat the Dallas Wings. With a loss against the Mystics, the Aces would have ended the day in third place. Instead, thanks to Gray’s heroics, they’re in first place because they own the tiebreaker over the Storm. There’s still a month left of the regular season, but every win matters in what figures to be a close race. This comeback could end up being the difference between getting a bye to the semifinals or not. 

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