Las Vegas Aces knock Seattle down and out 82-74 (Free Edition)
For a second consecutive game, Seattle was pushed around and beaten on the boards.
(Bradenton, FL) - Well, this was not the outcome Storm fans were hoping for. For a second consecutive game, the Storm struggled to get their offense going and were just completely outmuscled and out hustled. After losing to the Indiana Fever on Thursday night, Seattle dropped another game. This time to the Las Vegas Aces (10-3) in an epic clash between the league’s top two teams. While it was the Storm (11-3) that entered the game as the top-seeded team in the WNBA, it was Las Vegas that actually looked like the best team after defeating the Seattle 82-74. And frankly, the game wasn’t that close. Seattle used a 22-13 4th quarter to make the game closer than it truly was.
“The league will humble you no matter who you are.” ~ Coach Gary Kloppenburg
Las Vegas outrebounded Seattle 44-34 on the glass.
Breanna Stewart led the way for Seattle with 29 points 18 rebounds. She had a monster game. But she still didn’t shoot the ball particularly well going 10-25 (40%). She also shot just 2-8 (25%) from beyond the arc.
Natasha Howard had her highest-scoring game of the season with 16 points. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
Alysha Clark and Jordin Canada were the only other players to score in double figures. Clark had 11 points and Canada had 10. However, the majority of their points came in the 2nd half when the game was mostly out of hand already.
The fact Seattle had four players score in double figures wasn’t so much the problem. That’s pretty normal. The real problem was that no one else besides those four players scored more than three points in the entire game!
Jewell Loyd, fresh off her 35 point career-high against Indiana really laid an egg against Las Vegas. In 30 minutes, she shot 1-11 (9%) and scored just 3 points. It’s possible Loyd was too exhausted from carrying the team on her back against Indiana when no one else showed up; she just had nothing left for Vegas. Either way, hopefully, she’ll fix things quickly because the Storm need her to score for them to be at their best.
For the rest of the crew, the bench managed to score just five points. This is just two games removed from when that same group scored 49 points against the New York Liberty. Obviously, the 49 points won’t ever be the norm. But Seattle’s reserves did score 25 or more points in four straight games during their nine-game winning streak.
By comparison, Las Vegas had 34 points off the bench led by Danielle Robinson who had a stellar game with 16 points and seven assists. Dearica Hamby (8 points) and Jackie Young (7 points) also made strong contributions off the Aces’ bench.
A’ja Wilson has been incredible this season. On Saturday against Seattle, she was phenomenal scoring a team-high 23 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. She also caused a ton of problems for Seattle on defense. Including making Breanna Stewart really earn all of her 29 points. Stewart had to take 25 shots to make those 29 points.
Wilson is currently 2nd in the WNBA in scoring at 19.8 PPG. She is third in rebounds at 8.8 PG and third in Blocks per game at 1.5.
Her stats are very similar to Breanna Stewart’s but generally just a little bit better. A lot of people are talking about Stewart being the league’s MVP, but Wilson is certainly right up there. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the award ended up going to the player who’s team ends up with the better record. Currently, Seattle has just a 1/2 game lead over Las Vegas and Vegas has the much easier schedule down the stretch.
In order to read through the complete in-depth article including a quarter by quarter breakdown, the top plays, the common themes in Seattle’s losses, all of the post-game interviews from Breanna Stewart, Jordin Canada, and Coach Gary Kloppenburg. As well as detailed analysis on how the Las Vegas Aces implement their gameplan and what Angel McCoughtry has brought to their team, make sure you click the link below!