LAS VEGAS (August 20, 2019)—The Las Vegas Aces are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2014, and now are focused on securing the highest seed possible over the final seven games of the regular season. First up is a Tuesday meeting with the Phoenix Mercury (Watch Coach Raimon’s video scout).
A’ja Wilson showed no signs of rust, Sunday, as she saw her first action since spraining her ankle in a July 19 loss at Seattle. The two-time All-Star poured in 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the victory over the Sky.
Liz Cambage added 23 points and 10 boards, as the Aces’ Twin Towers scored 20 or more points in the same game for the first time this season.
Wilson (16.1 ppg), Cambage (15.9), Kayla McBride (14.7) and Dearica Hamby (11.0) are each averaging double figures in scoring, as the Aces offense has improved to fourth best in the league at 101.0 points per 100 possessions.
Las Vegas’ defense remains the best in the W, holding opponents to 94.6 points per 100 possessions, and leading the league in defensive field goal percentage and defensive rebound percentage.
The Phoenix Mercury have been bouncing around the .500 mark for the entire season, and enter Tuesday’s game with a 13-13 mark, which is good enough for seventh place in the league standings. They are 2-1 over their last three games despite playing without All-Star center Brittney Griner, who sat out the last three games due to a suspension incurred during the Merc’s August 10 game vs. Dallas.
Phoenix has also been without all-everything performer Diana Taurasi for all but one game this year as she recovered from off-season back surgery. Taurasi was medically cleared to play this evening, but must first serve a one-game suspension which was also assessed following the Dallas game.
In Taurasi’s absence, Griner has helped hold down the fort averaging a league-leading 19.4 points per game along with 7.0 rebounds per game, and making 54.0 percent of her shots from the field.
DeWanna Bonner is third in the WNBA in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game, and adds 7.7 boards per contest. Leilani Mitchell rounds out Phoenix’s trio of double-digit scorers, averaging 13. 6 points per game and 4.1 assists per game.
Las Vegas dropped an 86-84 decision on the road to the Mercury back on May 31 of this year. The teams play one another