Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Will Hurricane stop Monday Night Football in New Orleans?; Titans and Bills game moved up to Tuesday; plus more

The Tennessee Titans have up to at least 20 staff and player personnel who have contracted Covid-19. The game between the Titans and the Buffalo Bills has been moved up to Tue Oct 13th. (photo from CNN photo file)

On Headlines podcast with London:

#1 The New Orleans Saints have been working with the NFL in the event of Hurricane Delta hits Southeastern Louisiana. The Saints say their making contingency plans as they plan to host the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football.

#2 The Tennessee Titans who are under investigation from the NFL as to how 20 members of the team ten players and ten personnel staffers contracted Covid 19. The league is looking into Covid-19 protocol violations. The Titans will play the Buffalo Bills on Tue Oct 13th.

#3 The Titans have not practiced or played since Sun Sep 27th and their game scheduled this Tuesday against the Bills could prove to be more than just Covid on their minds not playing or practicing for two weeks how out of practice will the Titans be?

#4 London talk about how suceessful having the NBA and WNBA playing their games in a bubble in Lake Buena Vista Florida has been and how they pulled it off without no major outbreaks or interruptions.

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes won another critical game last Wednesday at Earthquakes Stadium against the Vancouver Whitecaps. After going winless in nine games the Quakes now have won three straight games. They play in Portland this Sunday and a win could improve their record to 5-6-5 and are in tenth place in the Western Conference.

London does Headline Sports podcast each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Aces season ends, swept in WNBA Finals in 92-59 loss

Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart (30) gets between Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson (22) and forward Cierra Burdick (11) during the second half of Game 3 of basketball’s WNBA Finals Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces storybook 2020 season came to an end as the Seattle Storm beat Las Vegas, 92-59, at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“It was very obvious that they have more weapons than we do,” said Laimbeer. “It was clear that they were the better team in this series.”

The Storm swept the Aces in three games in the best of five series for the WNBA championship.

“It hurts right now for our players,” said Laimbeer. “I have been down this road numerous times, winning and losing in the Finals, but they beat us.”

WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson led the Aces with 18 points and six rebounds while guard Jackie Young added 11.

“Seattle is a championship team,” said Wilson. “It hurts, but you learn and you grow from it.”

The Aces played the entire season without center Liz Cambage and guard Kelsey Plum.  Cambage opted out for the season and Plum went down with an Achilles injury.  In addition, the Aces lost forward Dearica Hamby for the Finals with a knee injury.

“We have a very sound nucleus of eight or nine players that are very solid,” said Laimbeer. “We have a solid future right now.”

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 34.4% from the field.
  • Las Vegas turned the ball over 18 times.
  • Forward Angel McCoughtry is now 0-12 in WNBA Finals games.
  • Seattle forward Breanna Stewart was named the Finals MVP.

Game Starters:

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

Aces unable to slow down Storm, fall 104-91; Seattle leads series 2-0

Photo credit: WNBA.com

By Shawn McCullough 

The Seattle Storm shot 57.1% from the field and dished out a WNBA Finals record 33 assists in a 104-91 win over the Las Vegas Aces at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“They are a very fine basketball team,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer.  “They made the plays when they had to make the plays and they got some good performances from some of their players.”

WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson led the Aces with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Emma Cannon came off the bench and scored 17.

“We need to take care of the basketball,” said Wilson.  “If we communicate and take care of the basketball, we are right there.”

The Aces turned the ball over 15 times in the game.

Three Storm players finished with over 20 points: Breanna Stewart (22), Alysha Clark (21), Natasha Howard (21).

“That’s why they’re at where they’re at,” said Laimbeer.  “Everybody knew coming into this that they had a full contingent with quality players.”

Down 2-0 in the best of five game, the Aces have their backs against the wall heading into game three on Tuesday.

“It ain’t over,” said Laimbeer.  “We have been in win or go home now twice, we are 2-0 and we expect to be 3-0.”

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot 52% from the field.
  • Las Vegas was eight for 19 from three-point range.
  • The Aces out-rebounded the Storm, 34-26.

Game Starters:

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

Aces drop game one of WNBA Finals, 93-80

Las Vegas Aces forward Angel McCoughtry (35) drives to the basket after getting around Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart (30) and forward Natasha Howard (6) during the first half of Game 1 of basketball’s WNBA Finals Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces just couldn’t match the Storm duo of Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird as Seattle beat Las Vegas 93-80 at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“A lot of things didn’t go right for us today,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer. “We struggled to score, we struggled to make shots.”

Stewart finished the game with 37 points and 15 rebounds, while Bird had a WNBA Finals record 16 assists.

“I thought that she [Stewart] played very well,” said Laimbeer. “Once her shots start going in, she is going to start knocking in a bunch more.”

The Aces rallied back in the third quarter from 19 down, but couldn’t maintain their intensity in the fourth quarter.

“We worked so hard to get back in that game in the third quarter,” said Laimbeer. “I think it took a lot of gas out of us.”

The Aces were led by forward Angel McCoughtry who scored 20 points, while A’ja Wilson added 19.

“We have been in this situation before and we are in a good position,” said McCoughtry.  “We can’t hang our heads.  We will adjust for next game.”

“We are in the Finals,” said Wilson. “We have to give it our all and leave it there with no regrets.”

The Storm now lead the best of five series 1-0 heading into game two on Sunday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 35.1% from the field, while Seattle shot 50%.
  • Las Vegas was 10 for 21 from three-point range.
  • The Aces out-rebounded the Storm, 39-37.

Game Starters:

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

Aces advance to WNBA Finals with 66-63 win

Las Vegas Aces players celebrate after getting the win over the Connecticut Sun in Game 5 of a WNBA basketball semifinal round playoff series, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)(ASSOCIATED PRESS)

By Shawn McCullough

The Las Vegas Aces are now three wins away from a WNBA championship.

The Aces grinded out a 66-63 win over the Connecticut Sun in game five of the WNBA Semifinals at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

“It became a test of wills,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer. “It was an ugly basketball game, but our team learned a tremendous amount about themselves.”

The Aces clamped down on defense in the second half giving up just 18 points in the final two quarters combined.

“We played solid defense and rebounded very well,” said Laimbeer on the second half defense. “Both teams were tired and I think that contributed on holding them to 18 points.”

Las Vegas forward A’ja Wilson put the team on her shoulders, registering a double-double, scoring 23 points and pulling down 11 rebounds while playing every minute of the game.

“I knew that I would have to grind it out and I would be on the court a lot more,” said Wilson. “At the end of the day, I know that I had to give it my all.”

Forward Angel McCoughtry scored 20 points, while both Carolyn Swords and Daniele Robinson each pulled down 10 rebounds.

McCoughtry will play in her fourth WNBA Final series, the only Aces player to play in the Finals.

“It means a lot [on getting back to the Finals],” said McCoughtry.  “It’s amazing.”

The Aces will next face the Seattle Storm in a five game series for the championship.  Las Vegas beat Seattle in both games in the regular season.

“The job’s not done,” said Wilson.  “We just have to keep going.”

The Aces and the Storm will play game one on Friday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • Bill Laimbeer will coach in his 5th WNBA Finals.
  • Las Vegas shot just 35.5% from the field.
  • The Aces finished the game with 18 turnovers.

Game Starters:

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

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