After watching Aja Wilson score 53 points to tie the WNBA single-game scoring record on Tuesday night, Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon seemed to be describing the movie’s next superhero when she spoke about the Aces star.
“She runs like a deer, jumps like a cat, and grabs like a Spider-Man,” Hammon said. “She’s just special. Her real talent lies in her humility, her grace and the way she treats herself and her teammates. She’s a superstar.”
Just 11 days after scoring a career-high 40 points, Wilson moved further as the Aces won 112-100 over the Atlanta Dream. Her 53-point shutout matched Liz Cambage, who set the single-game scoring record while playing for the Dallas Wings against the New York Liberty on July 17, 2018.
The only other player in the WNBA to score at least 50 points in a single game is guard Recona Williams, who scored 51 points in a Tulsa Shock game against San Antonio in 2013.
Wilson made 16 of 23 shots from the floor and 20 of 21 from the line, the most shots and attempts from the line in her career. She is the second player in the WNBA to make at least 20 free throws in a game. Cynthia Cooper of the 1998 Houston Comets holds the record with 22.
Wilson made four free throws in the last minute to reach the record-tying point total. After being fouled with 51 seconds left and taking both shots, Wilson had her chance at the record 3 seconds later when Dream coach Tanesha Wright committed two technical fouls and was sent off. Wilson hit both foul shots to put it at 53.
“I was really aggressive today,” said Wilson, who turned 27 earlier this month and is already a two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player. “I’m having fun out there and getting the chance to play with some amazing women. I don’t take those moments for granted. But I didn’t have a feeling like, ‘Oh my God!’ It was just kind of in the flow.
“The most important thing is just my timing. I see a lot of different defenses in every possession.”
According to ESPN Stats & Info Research, Wilson has been primarily defended by Cheyenne Parker, but five other Dream players have also handled the tough defensive job. Atlanta also didn’t have much success when they doubled down on Wilson.
“I really feel like we’re just seeing a generational talent,” said teammate Kelsey Bloom, who contributed 20 points and 7 assists. “What we’re seeing now is historic, and it’s just beginning. He’s one of the greatest players ever.”
Wilson now has 735 points this season, surpassing Bloom (726 in 2022) for the most in a single season in Aces history. The Aces reached 100-plus points for the ninth time this season and are 29-4, tying the 2014 Mercury for most wins in a single season in WNBA history (Phoenix went 29-5 in a 34-game season in 2014).
The league-leading Aces were coming off their first regular season defeat at home this season, when they lost 78-72 to the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday.
The WNBA champion kicked off his current four-game road trip in Atlanta with not only Wilson’s big game, but also a triple-double from guard Chelsea Gray (16 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds), who hit a triple-double last Thursday. against New York.
In addition to her record offense, Wilson made an impact defensively with 7 rebounds and 4 blocks, giving her 70 blocks this season to lead the league. I held the dream on shooting 3 of 14 when I objected to trying to shoot.
“She was really good on the defensive side and rim protection,” said Hammon. “She was all over the place.”
ESPN stats and information contributed to this report.