Aces fall to Dream in Atlanta

The Aces suffered their second loss of the WNBA season on Friday night, falling to the Atlanta Dream, 78-74, on the road.

The Aces had their worst outing of the young season on Friday night, losing to the Dream, 78-74, in Atlanta.

“For us to score 74 points in a game in my three years, that hasn’t happened very often,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “I don’t know how many times, but not very often in a regular season game has that happened. So we’ll go back, we’ll look.”

It was a rough night for mostly everyone besides A’ja Wilson, and even she was a touch below her usual efficiency. Despite scoring her usual 28 points, she went 12 of 27 from the field. However, the larger issue for Wilson and the offense was the lack of fluidity.

”We didn’t want to do the little things,” Hammon said. “Just a really poor showing offensively, and it didn’t matter what I put them in.

“I thought it turned into ‘my turn, your turn’ type of holding the ball. If you’re going to hold the ball and not move the ball in an appropriate manner and in a timely manner. It’s not going to work out well for us.”

This was the first game this season where Wilson did not reach the 20-point, 10-rebound plateau. She fell just one rebound short of extending her historic streak, finishing with nine. 

Atlanta was led by Wilson’s good friend Allisha Gray, who scored 24 points on 6-of-16 shooting and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line while adding three assists.

Wilson did get the better of her friend with a highlight reel rejection in the first quarter, one that has been in the works for a long time thanks to Gray’s insistence that she would never let it happen in past media appearances with Wilson.

That was about all the went right for the Aces on Friday night. Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young scored 19 and 15 points respectively, but that came on a combined 10 of 33 from the field.

Plum going 3 of 12 from three point land alone was a key contributor to those splits, as well as Jackie Young’s 4-for-15 performance overall that included an 0-for-6 first quarter.

“I think that a lot of the things we did were self inflicted, but give credit to them,” Kelsey Plum said. “They had a great game plan…it’s good to get the learning lessons out early, and we’ll be better for it.”

The Aces continue their road trip Wednesday night in Dallas for a matchup with Arike Ogunbuwale and the Wings. It is the first game of Commissioner’s Cup play in 2024 for the Aces, as well as the first of five consecutive games the team will play as part of the in-season tournament.