Aces force game five, beat Connecticut, 84-75

Photo credit: NBA Photos

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces staved off elimination with an 84-75 win over the Connecticut Sun at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“I thought that we played a very solid basketball game and on to game five,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer.  “They had their opportunity to win, now it’s our opportunity to win.”

Down by one at halftime, Las Vegas went on a 16-7 run in the third quarter to pull away comfortably in the second half.

The Aces were led by veteran forward Angel McCoughtry who scored a game high 29 points.

“Angel wasn’t ready to go home.  She really took it over,” said Laimbeer.  “She’s got a calmness about here that is good for our team.”

“It was a big game, but we found the fun in it and just enjoyed the moment,” said McCoughtry.

Forward A’ja Wilson registered another double-double, scoring 18 points and pulling down 13 rebounds, while guard Danielle Robinson also added 18.

“It was win or go home,” said Wilson. “But the job is not finished.  It is nowhere near done.”

The Aces were without the WNBA’s 6th Woman of the Year, Dearica Hamby, who missed the game with a right knee injury.

“It was tough when we lost Dearica, but man down, man up,” said Wilson.

The Aces and the Sun will play game five on Tuesday to advance to the WNBA Finals.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces turned the ball over just seven times in the game.
  • Las Vegas shot 47.9% from the field.
  • The Aces got only four points off the bench.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 21 Kayla McBride
G – 3 Danielle Robinson

Aces falter down the stretch, fall in game three, 77-68

Photo credit: Ned Dishman/NBAE 

By Shawn McCullough

The Connecticut Sun rolled off a 20-4 run to finish the game as the Aces fell 77-68 in game three of the WNBA semifinals at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“We took a lead there in the fourth quarter, but ran out of gas,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer.  “We couldn’t make shots, we couldn’t score.”

For the second straight game, the Aces found themselves in a close game in the fourth quarter, but tonight, turnovers and Connecticut offensive rebounds killed Las Vegas.

“How many times can we turn the ball over and expect to win the game?” said forward Angel McCoughtry.  “You can’t do that in the playoffs.”

The Aces turned the ball over 15 times, while Connecticut had only four turnovers in the game.

A’ja Wilson led the Aces with a double-double, scoring 20 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.

“Bill [Laimbeer] always says, playoff games are really about turnovers, offensive rebounds and free throws and we lost in all of those categories,” said Wilson.

The Aces will try to stave off elimination in game four of the best of five series on Sunday.

“It’s not over yet,” said guard Danielle Robinson.  “We just play free and go out there and win the next game.”

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 38.8% from the field.
  • Las Vegas allowed the Sun to pull down 14 offensive rebounds.
  • The Aces went 5 for 14 from three point range.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 21 Kayla McBride
G – 3 Danielle Robinson

Aces bounce back to even series with Sun in 83-75 win

Photo credit: AP Photo

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces needed a spark after a game one loss and found exactly that in the WNBA MVP.

A’ja Wilson scored 29 points, pulled down seven rebounds and blocked seven shots to lead the Aces past the Connecticut Sun, 83-75 at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“She kept us in the game the whole way and then won the game for us down the stretch,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer of Wilson.  “That’s what leaders do.  That’s what MVPs do.”

The Aces improved defensively from game one, holding the Sun to 44.9% from the field and causing 17 turnovers.

“Defense won this game for us,” said Wilson.  “When you get stops, the offense just flows into it.”

“I think that when we have the mentality that we are the best defensive team in the league, that is what carries us,” said guard Kayla McBride.

Angel McCoughtry, Dearica Hamby and McBride each added 11 points.

The best of five series is now tied one game apiece heading into game three on Thursday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com


Game Notes:

  • A’ja Wilson’s 29 points were a career playoff high.
  • Bill Laimbeer is now 9-1 following a double-digit loss in a playoff series.
  • He has won five of his last six series when losing game one.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 3 Danielle Robinson
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces stunned by Sun in first playoff game, 87-62

Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson, left, drives against Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas in Bradenton, FL. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

By Shawn McCullough

The #1 seed Las Vegas Aces fell to the #7 seed Connecticut Sun, 87-62, at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL in the first game of the best of five WNBA semifinal series.

“We got beat soundly, they [Connecticut] came and played harder than us,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer.  “We just didn’t play well offensively.”

Connecticut held the Aces to just 33.8% from the field and 1 for 14 from three point range.

“We shot the ball horribly today,” said WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson.  “That’s just on us.”

Wilson led the Aces with 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds.

“It was a great loss for us,” said Wilson.  “I think that we needed to get beat and we needed that slap in the face.”

Guard Jackie Young came off the bench and scored 17.

“A’ja did what she had to do to keep us somewhat competitive until the second half when Jackie found her stroke,” said Laimbeer.

The Aces beat the Sun twice in blowouts in the regular season, 99-78 on August 20th and 93-78 on September 3rd.

“We didn’t want to start 0-1, but I think that we learned a lot about how hard we have to play in this playoff atmosphere,” said guard Kayla McBride.  “We just have to respond.“

The Aces and the Sun will play game two of the best of five series on Tuesday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces led only once in the game.
  • Las Vegas was out-rebounded by Connecticut, 39-29.
  • Only two Aces players scored in double figures, A’ja Wilson and Jackie Young.
  • The 62 Aces points were their lowest game total this season.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces clinch #1 seed in playoffs with 86-84 win over Seattle

Photo credit: AP Photo/Mike Carlson

By Shawn McCullogh

It came down to the final day of the regular season, but the Aces finally caught the Seattle Storm.

In a game in which the winner gets the number one seed in the WNBA playoffs, the Aces rallied past Seattle, 86-84, at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Las Vegas trailed 79-74 with just 5:11 remaining in the game and went on a 10-0 run to secure the win.

A’ja Wilson and Dearica Hamby each dropped 23 points, while Danielle Robinson added 13.

Each team finished the regular season with an 18-4 record, but the Aces won the tiebreaker having won both games against Seattle.

This marks the first time since 2008 that the franchise has finished the season with the best overall record (then the San Antonio Silver Stars).

The Aces will enter the WNBA playoffs with a double bye and will play the lowest seed remaining from the first two rounds of the playoffs.  Las Vegas will play a best three out of five series starting on Sunday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com


Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 43.5% from the field.
  • Dearica Hamby went 4 for 6 from 3-point range.
  • A’ja Wilson finished the season ranked second in scoring (20.5), while leading the league in blocked shots (2.00), and finishing sixth in rebounding (8.5).


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces get 14 point win over Sparks 80-74 for 5th straight win

The Las Vegas Aces Sugar Rogers (right) snuffs the Los Angeles Sparks Chelsea Gray as the Aces pick up their fifth straight game victory in the first half in Bradenton Fl on Sat Sep 12, 2020 WNBA game (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum

Sports Radio Service

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Las Vegas used its defensive strength to overtake Los Angeles 84-70 Saturday in Bradenton, Fla., clinching a top-two seeding in the WNBA West and a double-bye into the playoff semifinals.

The Aces will face the Seattle Storm at noon on Sunday. The winner gets the No. 1 seed in the West.

After the Aces’ 15-point third quarter lead was cut to four, Las Vegas allowed 10 points by the Sparks in the fourth quarter.

Angel McCoughtry led the Aces with 18 points. Her 3-pointer and three-point play helped Las Vegas rebuild its lead in the final seven minutes. Kayla McBride, who was next on the Aces scoring list, sank a 3 with 1:25 remaining to put the game away.

The Aces’ bench combined for 20 points from Dearica Hamby, Jackie Young and Danielle Robinson. Point guard Lindsay Allen and center Carolyn Swords contributed five points each.

Nneka Ogwumike led Los Angeles with 24 points, followed by Candace Parker with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Chelsea Gray had 10 points and 11 assists for the Sparks, but was held to 2 of 13 from the field.

While Ogwumnike and Parker combined for 43 points on 18 of 31 shooting, Las Vegas held the rest of the Sparks to a combined 9 of 41 shooting.

The Sparks will be the No. 3 seed, opening with a one-game second round playoff on Thursday.

The WNBA semifinals begin on Sept. 20.

 

 

 

Aces upend Sparks, clinch chance at top seed in WNBA West

Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson, left, drives against Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike in their Sat Sep 12, 2020 game in Bradenton Fl (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, September 12, 2020

Las Vegas used its defensive strength to overtake Los Angeles 84-70 Saturday in Bradenton, Fla., clinching a top-two seeding in the WNBA West and a double-bye into the playoff semifinals.

The Aces will face the Seattle Storm at noon on Sunday. The winner gets the No. 1 seed in the West.

After the Aces’ 15-point third quarter lead was cut to four, Las Vegas allowed 10 points by the Sparks in the fourth quarter.

Angel McCoughtry led the Aces with 18 points. Her 3-pointer and three-point play helped Las Vegas rebuild its lead in the final seven minutes. Kayla McBride, who was next on the Aces scoring list, sank a 3 with 1:25 remaining to put the game away.

The Aces’ bench combined for 20 points from Dearica Hamby, Jackie Young and Danielle Robinson. Point guard Lindsay Allen and center Carolyn Swords contributed five points each.

Nneka Ogwumike led Los Angeles with 24 points, followed by Candace Parker with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Chelsea Gray had 10 points and 11 assists for the Sparks, but was held to 2 of 13 from the field.

While Ogwumnike and Parker combined for 43 points on 18 of 31 shooting, Las Vegas held the rest of the Sparks to a combined 9 of 41 shooting.

The Sparks will be the No. 3 seed, opening with a one-game second round playoff on Thursday.

The WNBA semifinals begin on Sept. 20.

 

Aces set team 3-pointer record in win over Lynx 104-89

Minnesota Lynx couldn’t hold onto their lead on Thursday night against the Las Vegas Aces in the bubble in Bradenton. This was Las Vegas’ fourth straight win. (KSTP TV photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Las Vegas Aces had the 3-ball rocking on Thursday night, setting a franchise record in that category to defeat the Minnesota Lynx 104-89 in the WNBA bubble at Bradenton, Fla.

The Aces canned 10 3-pointers, including Kayla McBride’s trey during a 13-4 run that started the fourth quarter. Las Vegas finished 10 of 18 from behind the arc; McBride was 5 of 7.

Angel McCoughtry celebrated her 34th birthday by scoring 22 points to go with eight rebounds and six assists. McCoughtry also became the third player in WNBA history to surpass 1,500 made free throws.

McBride finished with 21 points, followed by A’ja Wilson with 20 and Jackie Young added 17 points, all in the second half.

Crystal Dangerfield led the Lynx with 24 points and Napheesa Collier added 17 first-half points along with 11 rebounds and five assists. It was the third straight loss for Minnesota.

Las Vegas is 16-4 (second place in the West) and has games remaining with Los Angeles and Seattle as they try to attain a top-two finish, which would earn the Aces a bye into the playoff semifinals.

Aces win third straight with 92-86 victory over Indiana

Photo credit: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces remain hot on the heels of first place Seattle with a 92-86 win over the Indiana Fever at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Forward A’ja Wilson scored 22 points and dominated the boards pulling down 16 rebounds.

Guard Jackie Young and forward Dearica Hamby came off the bench and combined for 30 points.

The Aces led by as much as 20 points, but the Fever wouldn’t go away, rallying in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to just four points.

With the win, the Aces are just one game out of first place behind the Seattle Storm with just three games left in the season:

Thursday vs Minnesota Lynx
Saturday vs Los Angeles Sparks
Sunday vs Seattle Storm

Las Vegas improved to 15-4 on the season.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com


Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot 45.7% from the field.
  • Las Vegas out-rebounded Indiana, 42-28.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 19th straight game to start the season.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces sweep season series against Atlanta in 89-79 win

Photo credit: AP Photo/Mike Carlson

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces are pushing hard to gain the number one seed for the playoffs with an 89-79 win over the Atlanta Dream at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

A’ja Wilson led Las Vegas with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Angel McCoughtry, Kayla McBride and Jackie Young each had 18.

As both teams went back and forth in the first three quarters, the Aces needed a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter to get the win. 

The Aces remain in second place in the WNBA standings, one game behind the first place Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas has four games remaining in the regular season, with the last game being against the Storm.

With the win, the Aces improved to 14-4 on the season heading into their next game on Tuesday against the 5-14 Indiana Fever.  The Aces beat the Fever back on August 11th, 98-79.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces, for the second straight game, shot over 50% from the field at 52.4%.
  • Las Vegas held Atlanta to just 1 for 12 from 3-point range.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 18th straight game to start the season.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride