The Las Vegas Aces fell to 24-3 on the season after being defeated 99-61 by the New York Liberty on Sunday.
The Aces struggled out the gate getting behind early and falling to the Liberty. Jackie Young led the Aces with 16 points, Chelsea Gray had 15 points, A’ja Wilson added 9 points.
Sabrina Ionescu led the Liberty with 31 points, followed by Breanna Stewart with 23 points, Betnijah Laney added 13 points.
The Aces started off the game leading after the first quarter but things went downhill from there. Sabrina Ionescu led the way for New York with 23 points at the half. In the second half New York dominated Vegas outscoring them 50-17 in the second half and going on to blowout the Aces. Vegas was held to just 8 points in the 4th quarter well giving up 20 points.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Ionescu and Stewart offensive explosion
After struggling in their first matchup against the Aces Sabrina Ionescu came out on fire finishing the first half with 23 points. Sabrina was getting it done all over the floor shooting 9-14 from the field and 5-7 from three well dishing out 5 assist. Ionescu only scored eight points in the second half but ended with 31 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and six three-pointers. The second half would be the Breanna Stewart show as she caught fire scoring 18 of her 23 points in the second half.
“We just let them get hot Sabrina had 23 at halftime,” Hammon said. “She is somebody that you should basically be picking up at half-court.”
After dominating the Liberty in their last matchup the Aces got dominated in every way struggling to rebound losing the rebounding battle 48-24. The Aces also struggled to hit threes, going 6-23 while the Liberty shot 17-38. New York’s starters all scored double figures well outscoring the Aces starters. The duo of Ionescu and Stewart struggled in their first matchup but combined for 54 of the Liberty’s 99 points. In the second half the Liberty turned up the pressure defensively holding the Aces starters to just 11 points on 4-19 shooting.
“Rebounding wise we gotta be better,” Gray said. “Their post players are a load down there. Guards gotta come in and snag some of those rebounds, when you see are guards getting 5,4 or 6 rebounds thats when you know we are engaged defensively.”
Aces All-Stars struggle
The Liberty did a good job slowing down the Aces starters. A’ja Wilson who has been on a tear struggled against the Liberty finishing the game shooting 2-14 finishing with 9 points. Kelsey Plum who has also been hot struggled going 4-16 from the field and 2-6 from three. Jackie Young and Chelsea Gray both finished with double digits on 50% shooting but it was not enough.
“Of course I am gonna live with this I didn’t have it,” Wilson said. “When it comes to the career low or whatever my numbers are looking like I could careless about that because that is not going to shatter my confidence to continue to shoot that basketball.”
The Aces will travel to Dallas Tuesday to take on the Wings with tip off set 5:00 p.m. PT.