Las Vegas, NV—The Vegas Aces are playing like a team that is destine to take it all again and repeat as WNBA Champions. The Aces just unleashed on the New York Liberty on Thursday night for a 98-81 victory.
Coach Becky Hammon try to downplay the blow out over the Libs in the first meeting between two of the top teams in the WNBA.
“We’re in June still. We’re not banking too much on this,” Hammon said after the win Thursday night. “Feels better than losing. At the end of the day we have a lot of basketball left to be played.”
The Aces (14-1) won seventh consecutive games, who have been nearly unbeatable this season, averaging nearly 93 points a game. All five of the Las Vegas starters scored in double figures, with A’ja Wilson scoring 16 while Jackie Young and Candace Parker each chipped in 15. Chelsea Gray had 14 points and six assists, including a few prime time plays.
The Aces pulled away in the second half to run away with the much-hyped first contest between the teams who made the biggest moves in the offseason, with the defending champion Aces signed Candace Parker and Alysha Clark. The Libs added Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Kayla Thornton, and Courtney Vandersloot.
The Aces distribute the ball well with Kelsey Plum at the helm, she finished the game with 8 assists.
“It’s dangerous, in terms of the way we play and the way we can play in the halfcourt, in secondary and transition,” Parker said. “I think it’s great. we have people like (Kelsey) that run and cut. 32 assists on 40 field goals that says a lot about us and the way we play.”
The Aces were able to shut the Liberty down on the perimeter, contesting every shot. On offense, Plum was the catalyst, she had 13 points in the first quarter as Vegas led 28-22.
New York (10-4) trailed 49-42 at the break, but Las Vegas scored the first 11 points of the third quarter to distance themselves and extended the advantage to 18 in the last frame.
“They were a well-oiled machine today,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “We got to be more disruptive. There are areas we can look at where we can get better. Hopefully they can’t shoot nearly 60% from the field.”
Breanna Stewart scored 16 points and Jonquel Jones chipped in 13 for the Liberty.