photo from reviewjournal.com: Las Vegas Aces guard Kayla McBride (21) high fives Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Plum (10) before the start of Vegas’ WNBA semifinals game with the Washington Mystics on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, at Mandalay Bay Events Center, in Las Vegas
By Jeremy Kahn
Las Vegas Aces Head Coach Bill Laimbeer was furious after he did not get a crucial timeout in the waning seconds of Game One against the Washington Mystics, but his team stepped up when it counted most.
With their back against the wall, as the Aces trailed the Mystics two games to none in the best of five semifinal series, Liz Cambage was the leader on this night.
Cambage scored 28 points, as the Aces defeated the Mystics 92-75 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
”Our focus is win our home games,” said Cambage, who finished 12 of 15 from the field. ”It would have been nice to win one in Washington, but we know coming back here we’d have our fans to lift us up, we’d have our homecourt – we just had to get the job done tonight. It’s a playoff series, that’s the beauty of it, you learn on the run and all of the mistakes we made in the first couple of games, we really focused on fixing them and getting the job done tonight.”
The loss by the Mystics stopped a eight game winning streak, as they last lost on August 23 against the Chicago Sky.
AJa Wilson scored 21 points, and Kayla McBride chipped in with 18 and the Aces forced a game four on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
WNBA MVP Elena Della Donne led the Mystics with 22 points, Kristi Tolliver scored 14 and Aerial Powers dropped in 14.
‘I thought that they got into their post game better tonight, we didn’t do as good a job,” Washington coach Mike Thibault said. ”They put more pressure on us and we didn’t shoot the ball well. The same people that made a lot of shots the other night didn’t make shots today and that was the difference. This is the first really stinker of a game we’ve had in a long time.”
The Aces took the lead for good In the second quarter, as they trailed by two; however, after a 12-0 run over a four minute period, the Aces took a 10-point lead and never gave up the lead.
Game 1 Mystics 97, Aces 95
Game 2 Mystics 103, Aces 91
Game 3 Sunday, September 22 Ace 92 Mystics 75
Game 4 Tuesday, September 24 Mystics at Aces
Game 5 Thursday, September 26 Aces at Mystics (if needed)
NOTES: Kelsey Plum was in the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the first two games of the series, and scored nine points and also dished off nine assists.
UP NEXT: The Aces and Mystics will meet on Tuesday night in Game Four at Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Associated Press contributed to this report