The Las Vegas Aces will finish out a three-game homestand before heading out on a six-game road swing when they welcome the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday.
Las Vegas (19-8) won for the fourth time in its last five games Thursday with a 90-77 victory over Indiana. With a 52-32 first-half advantage, Thursday’s victory marked a complete reversal from the Aces’ 92-76 loss to Atlanta on Tuesday.
Las Vegas fell behind 35-18 through the first quarter against the Dream en route to the Aces’ fourth straight home loss. Thursday’s win marked their first home victory since June 19.
It also was just the second time in Las Vegas’ past nine games that it held an opponent to fewer than 83 points. The Aces’ record over that stretch is 5-4.
“I just wanted to see them play defense,” Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon said. “And they did that for the most part.”
The Aces lead the league in scoring at 90.7 points per game, and feature three of the WNBA’s top 10 individual scorers in Kelsey Plum (19.7 points per game), A’ja Wilson (19.3) and Jackie Young (16.6). However, Las Vegas ranks ninth in points allowed at 85.4 per game.
Right behind the Aces is Los Angeles (12-14), which is giving up 85.5 points per game. The Sparks trimmed that yield down a bit in their past two games, however, defeating Indiana on Tuesday 86-79 and getting past Atlanta on Thursday 85-78.
“We beared down defensively in the fourth quarter, stepping up to build a lead,” Sparks interim coach Fred Williams said Thursday. “We really played solid team defense all the way around and contained their key players.”
Containing key players could be as critical as all-around defense for Los Angeles on Saturday, as the Sparks learned their last time out against Las Vegas. Los Angeles held the Aces to 79 points on June 27, but surrendered 29 points to Plum and 25 to Wilson.
Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks in scoring with 18 points in that game and is averaging 19.0 on the season to lead the team.
–Field Level Media