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Jun 14, 2024 3:11 pm

Hungry Liberty visit Aces in WNBA Finals rematch

a'ja wilson

The New York Liberty have started 2024 looking like a team eager to avenge last year’s championship series loss to the Las Vegas Aces.

Las Vegas is still looking for the form that produced consecutive WNBA titles.

On Saturday, the teams meet for the first time since last October on the Aces’ floor in the league’s marquee matchup of the weekend.

While New York (11-2) is off to a strong start after Sunday’s 93-88 victory against Washington, Las Vegas (6-5) needed a 103-99 win Thursday night in Phoenix just to get back over the .500 mark.

Injuries and illness have left the Aces short-handed at times in the first quarter of the season, but coach Becky Hammon says her team could still be more consistent.

“At the end of the day, there’s structure that has to be followed,” she said. “We’re just not being solid in our base. We can’t take one step forward and two steps back.”

A’ja Wilson is taking no steps back. The Las Vegas leader scored 32 points Thursday, marking her WNBA-record eighth consecutive game with at least 25. She leads the league in scoring at 28.6 points per game and rebounding at 11.7.

Meanwhile, the Liberty have gotten a much more balanced effort. Four starters are averaging in double figures, led by Breanna Stewart at 18.9 points per game and Sabrina Ionescu at 17.8, and they have rattled off seven straight wins.

Coach Sandy Brondello said New York sharpened its focus last month after losing back-to-back games.

“Our biggest strength is strength in numbers,” she said. “These are professionals and they obviously take pride in what they’re doing. This is their job. I thought we just came together, our commitment became better, everything became better.”

New York’s winning streak enabled it to clinch home-court advantage for the Commissioner’s Cup championship game later this month against Minnesota — the last team to beat the Liberty on May 25. New York routed the Aces last year in Las Vegas to win the Commissioner’s Cup for the first time.

–Field Level Media

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