After losing in embarrassing fashion against the New York Liberty 99-61, the question was, “How would the Aces respond?”
Well, we found out the answer on Tuesday night! Las Vegas dominated the Dallas Wings, cruising to a 104-84 victory on A’ja Wilson’s birthday.
The 2022 MVP scored 28 points, shot 55 percent from the field, went a perfect 8-for-8 from the free-throw line and was a whopping plus-34 on the night. A’ja might not need numbers to validate her, but the numbers were on her side Tuesday.
It wasn’t just the Wilson show; the Aces had five players in double figures and dominated from start to finish, never trailing and leading by as many as 41 points. Las Vegas is now 25-3 and still has a chance of breaking the Houston Comets' winning percentage record if they run the table. For Dallas, they fall to 15-14 and are now a game behind the Atlanta Dream for the fourth and final home-court advantage position in the playoffs.
It was all Las Vegas from the jump, as they began the game on a 16-0 run. The Aces' intensity was at an all-time high. They went after every 50-50 ball. Jackie Young knocked down shots. Kelsey Plum hit jumpers. And Wilson led the charge scoring seven points in these opening minutes.
Down by 16, Dallas never posed a legitimate threat. Arike Ogunbowale had a poor shooting night, going 5-for-16 from the field for just 12 points. Satou Sabally led the team with 21 points, but with also shot poorly as she went 6-for-17 in her 31 minutes of play.
Besides the opening 16-0 run the other display of dominance for Las Vegas came at the start of the second half. They went on a 20-7 run to open the third quarter, shutting the door on any hopes of a comeback and extending their lead to 74-33 for their largest advantage of the night.
With the game in hand, the final frame essentially was garbage time as Dallas closed the gap enough to make the final score look respectable and not representative of how absolutely dominant the Aces actually were in this matchup.
25th W of the season behind 5 players in double digits ♦️♠️@_ajawilson22: 28 PTS // 14 REB // 55% FG@Kelseyplum10: 20 PTS // 3 REB // 8 AST // 2 STL // 4 3PM@JackieYoung3: 18 PTS // 7 REB // 6 AST // 6-9 FG // 4 3PM@cgray209: 16 PTS // 3 REB // 5 AST // 6-9 FG // 4 3PM… pic.twitter.com/689aCVFhY8— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) August 9, 2023
The Aces are defending champs and are playing some of the best basketball the sport has ever seen. They aren't even competing against teams like the Dallas Wings; they’re competing with ghosts. As the aim to become the first team to repeat as champions since the 2002 Los Angeles Sparks, their only true foes are the great WNBA teams of years past.
You give a team of that caliber some extra motivation after an embarrassing loss and this is what you get—sheer dominance. Dallas just got caught in the crossfire, at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Aces continue their pursuit of history on Friday against the Washington Mystics at home, while the Wings will host the Connecticut Sun on Saturday.