Aces left with winner-takes-all final game in playoff semis

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Aces left with winner-takes-all final game in playoff semis

Las Vegas Aces center Park Ji-su, right, shoots over Phoenix Mercury guard Bria Hartley during the second half of a WNBA basketball game on Sunday in Phoenix. [AP/YONHAP]

Las Vegas Aces center Park Ji-su, right, shoots over Phoenix Mercury guard Bria Hartley during the second half of a WNBA basketball game on Sunday in Phoenix. [AP/YONHAP]

 
Park Ji-su came on the court for three minutes and 22 seconds as the Las Vegas Aces' beat Phoenix Mercury at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday.
 
Park was unable to convert her single attempt during the three minutes and 22 seconds on the court, but with top scorer Chelsea Gray scoring 22 points and six assists and Kelsey Plum scoring another 20 points and six assists, the Aces were able to outscore the Mercury by 17 points, 93-76. 
 
This victory revives the Aces' chance of reaching the playoff finals. Park and the Aces were facing an increasingly tough route to the 2021 WNBA Finals after they dropped their third game against the Mercury on Tuesday and were down 2-1 in the best-of-five semifinals.
 
After finishing the regular season in the top two, the Aces advanced straight to the semifinals, skipping the two qualifying rounds. Mercury played through both qualifying rounds, beating the New York Liberty in round one and the Seattle Storm in round two to face the Aces at the playoffs.
 
The Aces won the first game 96-90 on Sept. 28, with Park on the court for one minute and 27 seconds. The Mercury won the next game 117-91. Then the Aces lost 87-60 again at Desert Financial Arena in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday. Park was on the court for three minutes, but failed to impact the score.
 
Now the two teams are tied at 2-2 with the fifth match on Friday at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

BY YUN SO-HYANG [yun.sohyang@joongang.co.kr]
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