Aces Eke out 60-56 Win over Defending Champs
LAS VEGAS (June 25, 2019)- Las Vegas struggled offensively Tuesday evening, but closed the game on a 7-1 run to eke out a 60-56 victory over visiting Seattle.
Neither team led by more than eight points the entire game, but the Aces closed the fourth quarter out with a 7-1 run, turning a 55-53 deficit into a four-point win.
The Aces outscored the Storm 16-0 in fast break points
Las Vegas went 13 for 18 from the free throw line, while Seattle went 5 for 10. Five of the Aces final seven points came from the charity stripe.
Seattle went 7 for 30 from three-point range, while Las Vegas went 3 for 17.
Liz Cambage scored in double figures for the 41st straight game, which is the longest active streak in the league (14 points).
Liz Cambage recorded her second double-double of the season (14 points, 13 rebounds)
The win moves the Aces to two games over .500 for the first time since the 2014 season.
Las Vegas (6-4) is now tied for fourth place in the WNBA standings with Sattle (7-5), a half game back of Chicago (6-3), and a game back of the Mystics (7-3).
The Storm started 0-for-7 out of the gate before Jewell Loyd ended the scoring drought at the 6:25 mark with a steal and fast-break layup. However, her night ended early as she was forced to exit the game after sustaining a right ankle sprain on the play.
Despite a cold first quarter, the Storm bench rallied in the second to keep the team alive, accounting for 18 of the Storm's 32 points at the half.
Storm went on an 11-3 run in the third quarter to take its first lead of the night at the 1:52 mark on a three-pointer by Alysha Clark.
Natasha Howard tallied a season-high four blocks and recorded her fourth double-double of the season in her 12th game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Last year, Howard notched her fourth double-double in the Storm's 27th game.
Howard also hit a pair of three-pointers for the first time since Aug. 12 last season (at Minnesota).
Mercedes Russell grabbed 10 rebounds for the Storm, marking her career game with double-digit rebounds.
Crystal Langhorne poured in nine points in the second quarter and finished the night with a season-high 11 points (5-10 FG) to go with four rebounds.
In her third start for the Storm, Shavonte Zellous contributed 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. She started the fourth quarter with six consecutive points for the Storm.
Seattle put up a season-high 30 three-point attempts (its most in a game since 2012) and took a season-low 10 free throw attempts.
Las Vegas heads to Los Angeles, Thursday, for a 7 pm PT tip against the Sparks.
Bill Laimbeer Quotes
I'm not happy one bit. I told the players at the halftime that I was embarrassed for our players and our team. I thought we had no life. An important game like this, a game that we needed to win, and we laid an egg in the first half. I was embarrassed. At the end of the game, we won the game but I'm disturbed because any adversity that comes our way we don't respond to it. We let it bother us. We take quick shots. Gotta do it myself. We don't finish shots. We don't do what we're trained to do and make moves in the post. We turn to mush. That has to change. I told them that. If you want to be a championship ball club or compete for the championship you have to be much more mentally tougher than we are right now. I will take the win. Lucky that we won against a depleted team. We should have lost. Thats a fact. I don't have practice time to fix it right now. We are in a stretch of a lot of games but its clear that we have some mental toughness issues that we have to find quickly for us to be competitive this season.
On mental toughness of Seattle...
Yeah they don't know any different. They are an experienced basketball team. They won the championship last year even though they are short handed they still know each other very well they are going to go run their stuff. And they are confident in their team. We don't seem to be confident in our team and I don't know why. We have good chemistry but we get into the half court and throw the ball. 19 turnovers shooting 31% how the hell do we win a basketball game? Thats unacceptable that can not happen.
On Ace's turnover plague...
Lack of mental focus. Lack of mental discipline. Lack of mental toughness. We don't know how to win. Well we win games because we overwhelm somebody with some talent or we play a fast paced game and we make buckets and we shoot well and our defense is always consistent I will give us credit for that but no we just always throw the ball away. For no reason. It makes no sense. And its across the board its contagious. That can not happen I need somebody to step up and take control of this team and Im struggling I tried 8,000 combinations to find somebody I had something for about a three minute stretch. Other than that, nothing.
A'ja Wilson Quotes
Q. Is this a good win, or do you feel like you left a lot on the court?
"All wins can't be beautiful, I wish they could. We learned that we need to grind things out. Nothing is easy in this league and we have to attack every single game like it's a playoff game, that's where we got caught up a little bit. For us to win this game against the defending champions is definitely something that we should be proud of, but in situations like the way we played we shouldn't be proud of that at all."
Q. On the basket you scored with 45 seconds left on the out of bounds play, was that designed to go to you?
"Honestly it was not designed to go to me, I just knew we had to get the ball in and she was playing me on my other side. The biggest thing going through my head was I hope this is our basket right here, because I kind of get flipped up a little bit, so I was like I hope this is ours and I went up with it. It was an off night for me, so I just had to focus and finish in that situation. No it was not designed for me."
Q. What happened when you blocked the three-pointer on the other end after that?
"I just wanted to make sure no one else touched it, or it to go out of bounds and be on us. So my biggest thing was defending. He said no three-points, no three-point plays, so I had to attack it in that way. Kayla and I made eye contact and I knew I had to get out there and try to contest the best way I can because she is a pure shooter. "
Liz Cambage Quotes
Q: What went wrong tonight?
"We don't know how to be consistent. That's pretty much it right now. We gotta learn how to win and how to stick with it and come out aggressive."
Q: Thoughts on who needs to step up?
"Everyone needs to step up. It's not just one person. I don't even think I'm playing that good, I was lucky I had a couple of plays. I'm missing open shots, I'm missing lay-ups. I am very frustrated with my game at the moment, and I just need to work out how to do me again. I don't feel like I'm doing me, and I see stats. I see I had a triple double the other week, but I'm not bringing my A game."
Q: How was the defense able to carry the team tonight?
"Defense should be key for everyone, all the time. You miss a lay-up, you're back on D. You get a stop, and you have another go at offense. I'm a strong believer in defense first, then your offense will come."
Dan Hughes Quotes
On mistakes at the end of the game...
"We didn't finish well offensively, I thought we competed pretty good defensively throughout the whole game. We probably needed a couple of those shots to go down but they didn't."
On Jewell Loyd's injury...
"There is no update."
On plans going forward...
"We just played three games in five days, we'll get back tomorrow, kind of get acclimated, and have a good practice on Thursday. For us, it's our third game in a 5 day scenario so we played a lot of basketball in a short period of time. We'll get home and get ready for the next one."
Natasha Howard Quotes
On what caused the lead change at the end...
"We just had turnovers, we weren't strong with the ball, and we had back to back turnovers at that point. We were rushing our offense a little bit instead of taking our time and pulling it back when we were up."
On bouncing back next game...
"We need to focus on ourselves before we start to focus on Chicago. We have to make sure everybody gets rest and gets ready for the Friday game."
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from June 26, 2019
- Aces Eke out 60-56 Win over Defending Champs - Las Vegas Aces
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