Sparks saddle Aces with rare home loss, 78-72

Sparks saddle Aces with rare home loss, 78-72

Aug 15, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Aces head coach Becky Hammon gestures to players during the second quarter against the New York Liberty at Michelob Ultra Arena.
Image: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Nneka Ogwumike recorded a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Sparks used stifling defense to hand the Las Vegas Aces their first regular-season home loss since June 2022 with a 78-72 win on Saturday.

Layshia Clarendon scored 21 points and Jordin Canada added 20 for the Sparks.

The Sparks (13-18) overwhelmed the WNBA’s top scoring offense throughout the contest, holding the Aces to just 27-of-75 shooting from the floor overall, including 8-for-32 from 3-point range.

Los Angeles also forced Las Vegas into 15 turnovers, seven of which came from four steals by Ogwumike and three by Canada.

The Sparks set the tone early, holding the Aces scoreless for a stretch lasting 3:37 of the first quarter, during which Los Angeles went on a 14-0 run.

Las Vegas (28-4) rallied to take back the lead in the second quarter thanks in part to A’ja Wilson’s game-high 25 points. However, the Aces’ scoring woes lingered throughout the second half.

The Sparks pulled ahead 72-63 with 3:32 to go in the fourth quarter, but seven quick Aces points cut the gap over the next two minutes. Los Angeles regrouped defensive and held Las Vegas without a point for the next 1:21 to effectively close out the game.

The win marked Los Angeles’ fourth straight.

For Las Vegas, the loss was its first at home in the regular season in 14 months but the second altogether on the week after dropping Tuesday’s Commissioner’s Cup championship to New York.

Three other Aces starters scored in double figures to join Wilson, but none with more than Kelsey Plum’s 12 points. Plum shot 4-for-13 from the floor and 2-for-7 from 3-point range.

Jackie Young finished with 11 points and shot 1-for-5 from deep, matching Chelsea Gray’s 3-point shooting effort. Gray scored 10 points and dished seven assists but committed a team-high four turnovers.

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.