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May 20, 2024 8:04 pm

Aces aim for 3-0 start against Kahleah Copper, Mercury

copper mercury

When the two-time defending champion Las Vegas Aces hosted the Phoenix Mercury a week ago to open the WNBA season, the Aces received their championship rings, raised their banner and then won the game, 89-80.

A week later, the Mercury’s Kahleah Copper comes in red-hot, looking to help Phoenix break the Aces’ nine-game winning streak in the series on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.

The Aces are coming off a challenging 89-82 home win on Saturday over the Los Angeles Sparks. The Aces led by 13 in the fourth quarter but had to weather a late L.A. rally to hang on for the victory.

Las Vegas (2-0) received key double-doubles from A’ja Wilson (22 points, 10 rebounds) and Jackie Young (22 points, 11 assists). The Aces were 14-for-16 from the foul line, which helped them hang on for the victory.

“People aren’t going to go away,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “People want to beat us and we understand that. The thing that encourages me is that most of the time it’s us — not playing the right way or doing things wrong.”

Meanwhile, Copper took over the game in her last outing to land the Mercury at 1-1. Copper’s career-high 38 points helped Phoenix catch and overtake the Atlanta Dream.

The Dream went on a 21-4 run in the middle of the fourth quarter to lead 81-74 with 3:17 to play. Copper and Sophie Cunningham teamed up to score the last 16 Mercury points to deliver an 88-85 victory.

Copper’s night included 16 third-quarter points along with the critical, game-ending run.

“The calmness we felt, in those moments, I’m like, ‘We’re about to win this,'” Copper said. “There was never a moment when we were disconnected.”

In the Aces’ season-opening win, A’ja Wilson was the star of that battle, posting 30 points and 13 rebounds. Wilson was 10-for-11 on free throws and the Aces shot 25-for-29 from the line to secure the win.

–Field Level Media

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