Emma Meesseman and Elena Delle Donne combined for 51 points to lead the host Washington Mystics past the Las Vegas Aces 97-95 at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in the first game of the best-of-five WNBA semifinal series on Tuesday.

Meesseman had 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Delle Donne finished with 24 points, six assists and six rebounds for the top-seeded Mystics.

Washington hosts Las Vegas, the No. 4 seed, in Game 2 on Thursday night.

A 14-3 run by Las Vegas, capped by A'ja Wilson's drive to the basket with 1:33 left, cut the lead to 95-93. In that stretch, Kayla McBride had seven points for the Aces, who limited Washington to 1-for-7 shooting with two turnovers.

Delle Donne had a 3-pointer for Washington during Las Vegas' comeback, and she made a turnaround jumper with 32.9 seconds left to give the Mystics a 97-93 lead.

Kelsey Plum answered after a timeout, driving for a layup with 28 seconds left. After Delle Donne missed short on the other end, Plum drove the court and took a shot at the buzzer that missed, bouncing hard off the backboard. Plum appeared to have been nudged from behind by Delle Donne while taking the shot, but no foul was called.

Plum finished with 16 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Aces, who are in the WNBA semifinals for the first time snice 2008, when the franchise was in San Antonio. Liz Cambage added 19 points and 12 rebounds for Las Vegas, and Wilson had 23 points and seven rebounds. McBride also had 19 points.

Las Vegas' Dearica Hamby, who hit a 35-foot runner with five seconds to play to eliminate Chicago on Sunday, finished with nine points and eight rebounds.

Plum came off the bench and sparked the Aces to a 57-50 halftime lead by making all four of her field-goal attempts and producing 10 points before the break. Wilson had 15 points by halftime on 5-for-7 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 shooting at the free-throw line.

Las Vegas made 61.8 percent of its shots from the field in the first half.

Washington went on a 12-2 run at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth to pull out to an 85-75 lead with 7:55 left in regulation.

Kristi Toliver made a 3-pointer to start the run and fellow reserve Tianna Hawkins had five of her eight points in that stretch.

The Mystics increased their lead to 92-79 with 6:23 remaining following another Toliver 3-pointer.

Washington won the regular-season series 2-1 with each team winning on the other's home court.

--Field Level Media

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