A’ja Wilson makes WNBA history, early MVP claim while leading Aces past Wings

A’ja Wilson has averaged 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game this season, which is another all-time WNBA record

The season is not even a month old, but A’ja Wilson seems well on her way to winning a third WNBA MVP award.

Wilson made WNBA history on Wednesday night in the Las Vegas Aces’ 95-81 win over the Dallas Wings. The win, which was part of the WNBA’s Commissioner’s Cup, pushed the Aces to 5-2 on the year.

Wilson, who was drilled in the face three times during the contest, finished with 36 points, 12 rebounds and six steals while shooting just shy of 70% from the field. That made her the first player in league history to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and five steals in a single game.

The Aces wasted little time putting the Wings away at the College Park Center in Arlington. They opened the game on a 22-6 tear, and Wilson was responsible for 12 of the Aces’ first 20 points. Though Dallas cut the game to five points at the break, Wilson had 30 of her 36 points by the end of the third quarter — which pushed them back up by double digits. From there, the Aces held on the rest of the way to get the win.

Kelsey Plum added 20 points for the Aces, and Jackie Young finished with 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Wilson shot 15 of 22 from the field, and had two assists to go with her impressive statline.

Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings again with 31 points and seven assists. She has led the team in scoring in all eight of their games this season. Teaira McCowan added 14 points and 15 rebounds, and Maddy Siegrist finished with 14 points. The Wings shot just 5 of 25 from behind the arc, three of which belonged to Ogunbowale.

Wilson, who won her first MVP award in 2020, has been dominant so far this summer. She’s averaging 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, which is another WNBA first. No player has ever held those marks through the first four games of the season. Wilson has now done so through seven games. Wilson is leading the league in rebounds, trails only Ogunbowale in scoring, and is second in blocks with 2.8 per contest.

Though there’s plenty of season left, Wilson is off to a commanding start to the season. If Wilson can keep it up, she’ll not only be a favorite to claim a third MVP award, but the Aces will be in a prime position to win a third straight league championship this fall.