Aces win season opener, 83-70, behind Wilson and McBride

20190526 - A'ja Wilson 03

Photo credit: Shawn McCullough (Sports Radio Service)

By Shawn McCullough

LAS VEGAS — The Aces are now learning “how” to win.

Las Vegas won their season opener, 83-70, over the Los Angeles Sparks at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

“We’ve got to learn how to win and today’s a good start,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer.

A’ja Wilson led the Aces with a double-double, 21 points and 11 rebounds, while Kayla McBride scored 20, shooting 9 of 15 from the field.

Dearica Hamby also contributed a double-double, scoring 12 and pulling down 14 rebounds.

With this just being the team’s second season in Las Vegas, the young Aces are starting to feel a chemistry among teammates.

“We know each other, we get our vibes,” said Wilson. “We understand each other, we know exactly where to put each other in situations to get the best out of them when we need them. Last year was tough, because we didn’t know one another, but this year, the energy is there, we’re all vibing off each other, we’re all feeding off each other on and off the court. That is something special.”

Newly acquired center Liz Cambage sat out the game due to an Achilles injury, but liked what she saw.

“That had me so hype, watching these girls go out there and play hard, a real team game,” said Cambage. “Everyone getting their points, everyone hustling, that’s the team game that I like to play.”

With the win, the Aces started the season 1-0, after starting 0-4 last season.

The Aces will next travel to Phoenix on Friday to face the Mercury before returning home to the Mandalay Bay Events Center on Sunday to play the Connecticut Sun.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • Former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was in attendance, along with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis.
  • Sparks star Candace Parker sat out with a hamstring injury.
  • The Aces took their first lead with 2:44 left in the first quarter and never trailed after.
  • 7,249 fans were in attendance.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 21 Kayla McBride
C – 8 Carolyn Swords
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 10 Kelsey Plum

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