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2019 WNBA Semifinals Preview (Game 4): Can the Mystics overcome the Aces’ defense to close the series tonight?

The Washington Mystics defense has been nearly nonexistent in this semifinals series with the Las Vegas Aces. But Vegas’ arrived in a season-saving Game 3. Expect another big defensive performance from the Aces.

Washington Mystics v Las Vegas Aces - Game Three
Liz Cambage scored 28 points in Game 3 and looks to help the Las Vegas Aces extend the series tonight.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The No. 1 Washington Mystics are in Vegas for one more night as they try to end the No. 4 Las Vegas Aces’ season. The Mystics dropped Game 3 92-75.

For the Aces, it was their defensive play that was the difference in their Game 3 victory. They forced more turnovers (13) than they accumulated in the first two games of the series combined (10) and held the Mystics to a series-low 38.6 percent from the field. After losing the third quarter of the first two matchups, the Aces were able to increase their halftime lead in the third quarter of Game 3.

The Aces will have to continue that intensity if they want to extend the series to a fifth game.

The Mystics forced a series-high 16 turnovers, but were unable to have any impact on the shooting of the Aces, who made 48.6 percent of their shots. Despite their offensive output — the Mystics’ worst in nearly a month, when they were limited to 78 points in a loss to the Chicago Sky — they are nowhere near panic mode. They get two games to close out the series. However, they obviously would like to return to D.C. thinking about the WNBA Finals and the Connecticut Sun instead of a Game 5 where anything could happen.

The Mystics need to get back to their performances in the first two games with more players getting involved offensively. They also need to pick it up on the defensive end. For the Aces to force Game 5, they will need to keep up their effectiveness on the defensive end. After all, it proved effective in Game 3.

Game information

No. 1 Washington Mystics (2-1) vs. No. 4 Las Vegas Aces (1-2)

When: Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 9 p.m. ET

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, NV

How to watch: ESPN2

Keys to the matchup: The Aces are at home once more and will need to bring the intensity that helped them win their last time on the court. The Mystics’ defense has not been at its best all series and their offense was able to bail them out in two games. In Game 3, their offense was unable to do so. Washington will need to do better defensively if they want to return to D.C. with the series win.