Aces Quest for Three-Peat Begins Tuesday, May 14 vs. Phoenix

LAS VEGAS (May 13, 2024)—The Aces’ quest for history and a “three-peat” championship begins Tuesday, May 14 at Michelob ULTRA Arena when Las Vegas hosts the Phoenix Mercury at 7 pm PT on ESPN2. The Aces will receive their 2023 world championship rings and raise the 2023 championship banner to the rafters in pregame ceremonies.

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Las Vegas’ 2023 season was one for the ages as it became the first WNBA team to repeat as champions in more than 20 years. The Aces set the league record for wins in a season (34) in the process and rolled through the postseason with an 8-1 mark, upending the New York Liberty three games to one in the WNBA Finals. In the title-clinching Game 4, Las Vegas found itself without two starters in point gawd Chelsea Gray and center Kiah Stokes, both of whom were injured in Game 3. The Aces were also without the services of future Hall of Fame center/forward Candace Parker, who missed the final 22 games of the regular season and the entire postseason with an injury.

The Aces led the WNBA in both offensive (113.0) and defensive efficiency (97.7) in 2023, becoming just the 8th team in league history to do so. They set the league record in offensive efficiency, and nearly became the first team in the 27-year history of the W to lead the league in all four shooting percentages, finishing first in field goal percentage (.486), 2-point field goal percentage (.549) and free throw percentage (.840), while finishing second in 3-point field goal percentage to New York (.372 to .374).

Las Vegas’ 2024 roster has a few additions and subtractions from the 2023 version. Three-time WNBA champion and two-time MVP Parker announced her retirement just prior to the start of training camp. During free agency, the Aces added 2019 NCAA Player of the Year Megan Gustafson. The 6-5 center has made 53.3% of her field goal attempts and 39.1% of her 3s over the past her past two seasons in Phoenix. In the draft, Las Vegas picked up a pair of guards in Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair, the third-leading scorer in NCAA history, and Iowa’s Kate Martin, a two-time NCAA Championship Game participant, who averaged 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds, while connecting 37% of her 3-pointers as a senior.

The Phoenix Mercury finished the 2023 season with a league-worst 9-31 record despite the return of center Brittney Griner. Last year, Diana Taurasi became the first player in WNBA history to score 10,000 or more points in a career, and she returns for her 20th season a pro.

In the offseason, the Merc signed point guard Natasha Cloud and forward/center Rebecca Allen, while trading for Kahleah Copper. Cloud is a two-time WNBA All-Defensive Team selection who has ranked in the top five in the league in assists per game in each of her last four seasons. Allen brings a career 3-point shooting percentage of 36.4 to the Mercury over her eight years in the W. Copper averaged 16.2 points and 4.8 rebounds over her last four seasons in Chicago. Phoenix also hired a new head coach in 12-year veteran NBA assistant coach Nate Tibbetts.