LAS VEGAS -- A'ja Wilson received more hardware before Game 1 of the Las Vegas Aces' semifinal series with the Dallas Wings on Sunday, then she went out and showed why she might not be done getting awards this WNBA season.
Wilson had 34 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocked shots in the Aces' 97-83 victory. She was 15-of-21 from the field (71.4%), tying a WNBA record for field goals in a playoff game.
After accepting her Defensive Player of the Year trophy prior to tipoff at Michelob Ultra Arena, Wilson held the Wings to just 17% on shots she contested. She seemed to be everywhere on the court -- and even off the court, as she ran into the stands while going for the ball late in the game.
The outcome was already decided by then, but Wilson was still going full bore.
"She loves the moment. That's just something she's born with," Aces coach Becky Hammon said. "You can't teach people to love the moment. She's especially been on a roll the last month and a half; her stats are ridiculous."
All the WNBA season awards are voted on before the playoffs, so Wilson's performance thus far in the Aces' three playoff games won't impact whether she will win her third MVP award. But what we've seen so far is a great example of why she is such a strong contender for that honor, too.
In two first-round games against the Chicago Sky and Sunday's semifinal opener, Wilson has totaled 86 points, the most by any WNBA player ever through three postseason games. She is also one of just three players to have back-to-back 30-point games in the WNBA playoffs, and she has done that twice: this year and last year.
"I thought against Chicago in Game 1, we didn't get her the ball enough," Hammon said. "Overall, we're doing a lot better job getting her in space and letting her go to work."
After the No. 2 seed New York Liberty lacked energy throughout their semifinal-opening loss to the No. 3 seed Connecticut Sun earlier Sunday in Brooklyn, the No. 1 Aces and Wilson had no such issue against the No. 4 Wings.
The game was close at the break, with Las Vegas leading 49-45, but Wilson said Hammon "cussed us out at halftime" and then the Aces really took off. They outscored the Wings 26-12 in the third quarter. In fact, Wilson outscored the Wings by herself with 14 of those points.
"I'd love to bottle that one up," Hammon said of the team's third-quarter success. "I tell them when they stink, and I tell them when they're great. And they were great."
As dominant as Wilson was, Aces guards Kelsey Plum (25 points, 5 rebounds) and Jackie Young (19 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists) were also exceptional. The Aces shot 53.6% (37 of 69) from the field and 100% (13 of 13) from the foul line.
"Getting the ball moving, getting it popping, that's when we get our best," Wilson said. "Especially when we also play our defense, that's where we are truly the Aces."
ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.