The Las Vegas Aces have plenty for which to play during the final weekend of the WNBA regular season.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Sky are trying to build some momentum heading into the playoffs.
The Aces can secure the No. 2 playoff seed with a third consecutive victory Friday night, when they visit the struggling Sky.
Las Vegas (22-8) currently sits second in the league standings. A victory in either of its final two games, or a Minnesota loss, would not only secure that second seed, but also give the Aces an automatic spot in the semifinals.
So, it was understandable that Las Vegas coach Bill Laimbeer was not pleased with the fact his team trailed 29-19 after the first quarter at home against Dallas on Monday. However, the Aces regrouped, thanks to 30 points from Kelsey Plum off the bench and a defensive effort that held the Wings to 30 second-half points, to win 85-75.
“We’re going for the second seed, which is very important,” Laimbeer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We have to play with the energy that we played with in the second half from start to finish. And, we’ll be fine.”
Las Vegas has won eight of the last 10 games and lost only once over the last six. That most recent defeat came at Chicago on Sept. 5.
Three days after Plum (14.3 points per game), A’ja Wilson (18.7 ppg) and Riquna Williams (10.1 ppg) each had 21 points in the Aces’ 90-83 home win over the Sky, Plum’s 23 weren’t enough to keep her squad from falling 92-84 at Chicago.
Allie Quigley (13.5 ppg) scored 22 and Candace Parker (13.3 ppg, 8.9 rebounds per game) added 12 with 13 rebounds and eight assists as the Sky (15-15) shot 50.7 percent and took advantage of Aces’ star Liz Cambage’s absence. That, however, is Chicago’s lone victory over its last four games.
The Sky, holding the sixth playoff seed, went 3-for-22 from 3-point range and shot 41.8 percent overall during a lackluster 79-71 home loss to Washington on Sunday.
“It’s more of an internal thing (right now),” Sky forward Stefanie Dolson told the Chicago Sun-Times. “We all have to have a bit more pride.”
–Field Level Media