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Las Vegas Upends Washington, 92-75, to Force Game 4 of WNBA Semifinals

September 22, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Las Vegas Aces News Release

LAS VEGAS, NV - After playing the Mystics tight for the first two games of the WNBA Semifinals, the Las Vegas Aces finally broke through Sunday with a 92-75 home win at Mandalay Bay Events Center. Washington now leads the best-three-out-of-five series, two-games-to-one.

KEY RUNS

First Quarter (Mystics 24, Aces 23)

Neither team had more than a 5-0 run throughout the quarter.

Second Quarter (Aces 47, Mystics 37)

Washington led 33-31 with 5:27 to go in the half, but the Aces scored 12 straight to go up 43-33 with 2:40 to go.

Third Quarter (Aces 79, Mystics 62)

Las Vegas led by nine, 50-41 early in the third, and scored 10 of the next 12 points to go up by 17, 60-43.

Fourth Quarter (Aces 92, Mystics 75)

The Aces lead vacillated between 14 and 22 throughout the quarter.

KEY STATS

Las Vegas outscored Washington 46 to 22 in the paint.

The Aces committed 17 turnovers which the Mystics turned into 14 points, while Washington committed 13 turnovers which Las Vegas turned into 17 points.

Washington made 11 of 33 shots from three-point range,while Las Vegas went 6 for 14.

The Aces outscored the Mystics 20 to 5 on second chance points.

Las Vegas connected on 48.6 percent of his shots, while Washington made 38.6 percent of theirs.

The Aces out-rebounded the Mystics 40-28.

GAME NOTES

Liz Cambage had her streak of consecutive double-doubles to start her postseason career snapped at four. That leaves her tied with Yolanda Griffith for the most in league history.

Cambage scored a career postseason-high 28 points. It is her third 20-plus point effort in four postseason games

A'ja Wilson (21 points) and Cambage each scored 20 or more points in a game for the first time in the postseason.

Kelsey Plum narrowly missed a double-double, and a triple-double with 9 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds.

NEXT GAME

The Aces host the Mystics on Tuesday, September 24 in Game 4 of the WNBA Semifinals. Tip is slated for either 5:30 or 6 pm PT pending the outcome of today's other semifinal match-up between Los Angeles and Connecticut.

POSTGAME INTERVIEWS

Bill Laimbeer - https://youtu.be/glfvuZGQ2HE

A'ja Wilson & Liz Cambage - https://youtu.be/SJQsWPRApq0

POSTGAME QUOTES

Bill Laimbeer

Opening Statement...

Well we have a series going on. We knew it was a series. I think some people didn't. We knew in the first two games that we played with the level of intensity needed to compete. We did the same thing tonight. We got a good win. It's only one. You can't win three until you win one. You can't win three until you win two. That is our next task at home. I thought the crowd was phenomenal. I think our organization did a great job getting people to the game. I hope they enjoyed themselves. I thought we played a solid basketball game. We can play better. I was very disappointed in our turnovers again. We got the lead and went back to our old ways of throwing the ball all over the gym, that can't happen against a team like Washington. That is a recipe for disaster. I thought our bigs did a good job tonight. I thought Liz and A'ja controlled the inside well. We found them and gave them the ball in scoring positions which is great. Overall it was a great team performance. We controlled the rebounding for most of the game which is a positive for us but it's also who we are. We are an inside rebounding basketball team and tonight we went out and played our game and got a win. But like I said at the start of this conversation, that is only one and we have to go work hard to get another one. They are going to play really hard again. They are going to come with their best effort and we have to match the intensity and play our best game Tuesday night.

On the dominance of Liz and A'ja...

We anticipated a duo post situation, our offense is structured around a duo post situation and they did their job tonight. It was nothing spectacular they did tonight, they both went out and did their jobs. That is what they are paid to do. They both went about their business and shot a good percentage of shots. We fed them the ball at the right times and that is why they were so successful today. Washington shoots a bunch of jumpshots and a bunch of three's and we are a team that goes inside and gets to the free throw line. That's us.

On Washington not be able to stop Liz...

They are a good team for a reason. They play solid defense. Team's have played us this way all year long. We have had times when we can't convert and we had our moments when we were able to take advantage of our strengths and tonight that happened. We played a solid defense of effort tonight. We rebounded well and didn't give them any easy buckets.

On second half defensive effort...

We had a little more bounce in our step today. The crowd definitely helped us. They just missed shots today. We didn't do anything different today they just missed shots. Hopefully it doesn't come back to them but I thought we had a little more bounce in our step defensively than we did in the first two games.

A'ja Wilson

Q. Is this what you envisioned when the Liz-A'ja tandem formed earlier this year?

"I think that's kind of just the way we are. We handle business. Coach always says we're professional basketball players, so that's what we do."

Q. What adjustments will be made coming up for game four?

"I think we honestly can't even worry about what they're doing. We really just have to focus on us. When we do that, and let the game come to us and we're just in the flow and in a rhythm. That's just who we are. I think the more we focus on what they're going to do, it's just going to get on our minds even more."

Liz Cambage

Q. How do you feel about being favored to win in the beginning of the season, now?

"It would have been nice if we had won in Washington, but we knew coming back here we would have our fans lifting us up. We have our home record. We just had to get the job done tonight. And it's a serious series, playoff series. And that's the beauty of the brand. And all the mistakes we made in the first couple of games and we really focused on fixing them and getting the job done over here."

Q. Did you feel like we played with the same pride you did in DC?

"I think we got the job done and came out and did again."

Mike Thibault

On tonight's game...

"They played way better than us tonight. It was a physical game, we didn't shoot the ball anywhere close to the way we did the other night, they did a better job. We have been a low turnover team all season, in particular during games 1 and 2, tonight the eight turnovers we had in the second quarter were not good, we had too many live-ball turnovers. I thought they got into their post-game better tonight, we didn't do as good of a job. They put more pressure on us, we didn't shoot the ball well. The same people that made a lot of shots the other night didn't make shots today, that was the difference."

On tonight's mistakes...

"I think some of the turnovers were on us and some were them, they put more pressure on us. I thought we passed up some open shots trying to get a better shot, I'm not sure if it was a better shot necessarily to get. I thought we were a little more tentative shooting the ball, this is the first really stinker game we had in a long time. You have to credit them on their improvement from game 2 to game 3. Being at home sure helps, they're the more desperate team. Desperate teams tend to play more physically, I thought the physicality went over the limit a few times today but these are the playoffs."

On A'ja Wilson's and Liz Cambage's performance tonight...

"They went into A'ja right off the bat, I'll say that Cambage got a lot of post position where we have some people with bruises on their neck, but she worked hard and worked hard to get the ball. I thought there should've been some offensive fouls called on her, the fact of the matter is that they didn't. When you go 12 for 15, it's a pretty good night."

On Kristi Toliver's and Aerial Power's performance tonight...

"I thought they were aggressive. When you're in this kind of situation, your team, and every individual need to play with an aggressive mindset, I don't think we did that as well throughout our team, particularly the starting lineup, it was a struggle. You don't see Latoya miss that many shots normally, Emma didn't get as many shots because they did a good job on her trying to keeping her from catching the ball, Natasha wasn't able to get to the rim the same way tonight because they closed down the lane a little better. They adjusted from the other day pretty well."

Kristi Toliver

On Ace's defense tonight...

"They switched a lot, got a little more aggressive, they had great presence and got away with a lot of fouls, I think. This makes a huge difference when in the first two games, those things weren't allowed. Now it's a matter of adjusting, there is always counters to what defenses they present but they definitely picked up the physicality aspect in game 3.

On tonight's mistakes...

"It's tough, they played well and we didn't make shots that we usually make. We were second-guessing and hesitating the majority of the game. When there is hesitation, good things aren't going to happen. When we're free, lose, and just playing, that's when we're at our best. That's the name of the game, just for us to get out there playing basketball and enjoy the moment. They were desperate tonight, their season was over if they didn't win."

Elena Delle Donne

On preparing for the next game...

"We definitely need to get back to the drawing board a little bit but we been great all season long because we've been fast, in space, shared the ball, and we've moved. We gotta

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