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 Las Vegas Aces

Game Preview- Aces Look to End Losing Skid Thursday in Phoenix

June 12, 2024 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA)
Las Vegas Aces News Release

PHOENIX - The Las Vegas Aces (5-5, 1-3) are traversing unfamiliar territory this Thursday as they bring a rare 3-game losing streak with them to Footprint Center for a 7 pm PT tip against the Mercury (6-6, 3-1). The last time the Aces dropped 3 consecutive regular season games was in August of 2019. Las Vegas hasn't lost 4 straight games since the 2018 campaign.

The Aces are allowing 102.1 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor, which is the 5th most in the WNBA. A year ago, they boasted the best defense in the W at 97.7 points per 100 possessions. The biggest difference from year to year is on the perimeter. Opponents are making 39.7 percent of their 3-balls this season as compared to 34.3 percent in 2023. The Aces are still the best defensive rebounding team in the league (.748 DRebPct), and allow the fewest points in the paint (31.0 PIPpg).

Las Vegas' offense is still among the best in the W (104.3 OER), thanks in large part to the efforts of M'VP front-runner A'ja Wilson. The 5-time All-Star leads the league in scoring (28.3 ppg), ranks second in rebounding (11.4), 3rd in blocks (2.70), and 10th in field goal percentage (.507). She also tops the WNBA in win shares (2.9), offensive win shares (2.1), rebound percentage (.190) and defensive rebound percentage (.308), per,

Kelsey Plum (18.7 ppg) and Jackie Young (16.9 ppg) are also both in the top 15 in the league in scoring, and recent free agent signee Tiffany Hayes is averaging 10.8 point per game, making her the second-highest scoring reserve in the WNBA. The Point Gawd, Chelsea Gray, has yet to play in 2024 due to a leg injury, but her status was recently upgraded from "out" to "questionable."

The Mercury were without the services of 8-time All-Star Brittney Griner for the first 10 games of the season due to an injury, but she has appeared in each of Phoenix's last 2 games and is averaging 17.5 points while making 63.6 percent of her field goal attempts. Griner ranks second on the team scoring behind offseason acquisition Kahleah Copper, who is averaging 24.0 points per game and draining 39.3 percent of her shots from beyond the arc. The ageless Diana Taurasi is averaging 16.6 points per game and point guard Natasha Cloud is pouring in 11.3 points while dishing out 7.6 assists per contest.

Despite their collective scoring output, Phoenix's offense is just seventh in the league in efficiency (96.9), and 11th in field goal percentage (.403). Defensively, the Mercury are 9th in the league in efficiency, allowing opponents to score 102.7 points per 100 possessions.

Las Vegas is 46-54 all-time against the Mercury. Phoenix won the last meeting between the clubs, 98-88 on May 21, but prior to that, the Aces won 10 straight against the Merc.

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