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Jun 18, 2024 11:11 pm

Aces desperate to get out of rut entering battle with Storm

a'ja wilson

The two-time defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces are trying to regroup after losing four of their past five games.

One year removed from posting a league-best 34-6 record, Las Vegas will try to begin its climb back to the top of the standings on Wednesday when it faces the visiting Seattle Storm.

The Aces (6-6) opened the season 4-1 but have slid since. Playing without point guard Chelsea Gray, who is expected to make her season debut on Wednesday after dealing with a foot injury, Las Vegas has struggled defensively, allowing 85.7 points per game.

Two-time MVP A’ja Wilson has been one of the few bright spots, averaging league bests in points (28.0) and rebounds (11.5) per game. But following a 90-82 home loss to the New York Liberty on Saturday, Wilson was moved to tears during her postgame press conference.

“I’m going to go out there and I’m going to try to be the best … person, I want to be the best teammate, cause that’s how I get the best out of my team,” Wilson said. “I want to be great for my team, I want to be great for this franchise.”

It’s been a much different story for the Storm (9-5), who have nearly matched last year’s win total (11) already.

Despite Sunday’s 87-78 loss to the Phoenix Mercury, Seattle has won eight of its past 10 games. Jewell Loyd has been leading a balanced offensive attack with 19.8 points per game, and the Storm have three players aside from Loyd with scoring averages in double figures.

“This week, we play a lot of veteran teams that play small ball,” Seattle guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said. “Phoenix did some different types of matchups and zones and presses … so we’ll look at film and see how we can build and get ready schematically vs. Vegas.”

Wednesday marks the second meeting of the season between the teams, who last came together on June 7. The Storm beat Las Vegas 78-65 behind 25 points from Loyd and 21 from Diggins-Smith.

Wilson went for 29 points and 11 boards for the Aces in the loss.

–Field Level Media

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