Fifty-point games in the N.B.A. can almost be ho-hum: There were 25 last season alone, and they are increasing in frequency. But in the W.N.B.A., they are nearly unheard-of.
A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces didn’t just score 50 on Tuesday night in Atlanta; she made four free throws in the last minute to reach 53, tying the league record.
Wilson’s is just the third 50-point game in W.N.B.A. history, following a 53-point game by Liz Cambage of the Dallas Wings in 2018 and a 51-point game by Riquna Williams of the Tulsa Shock in 2013.
There have been only 33 games in which a player has scored 40 points or more in the league’s history, which dates to 1997. But as in the N.B.A., the trend line is upward. A third of those games have come this season.