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Jun 8, 2024 12:22 am

Jewell Loyd, Storm hammer Aces in Las Vegas

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Jewell Loyd scored 25 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith made key late-game plays as the visiting Seattle Storm defeated the host Las Vegas Aces 78-65 in a Western Conference showdown.

Diggins-Smith finished with 21 points, Ezi Magbegor added 14 points and 15 rebounds, and Nneka Ogwumike provided 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Storm (7-3) stretched their winning streak to six games.

A’ja Wilson pumped in 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Kelsey Plum had 18 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Aces (5-3) as both teams are tied with the Minnesota Lynx for the fewest losses in the conference.

The other two defeats for Las Vegas this year came by a combined 14 points, but with the Aces shooting only 31.3 percent from the field they couldn’t keep up. Seattle managed just 36.1 percent shooting from the floor but made up for it by going 20-for-22 on free throws.

The Storm also had enough down the stretch to fend off the Aces. Seattle made only three field goals during a span of nearly four minutes in the fourth quarter, but those were 3-pointers from Loyd, Ogwumike and Diggins-Smith.

That was followed by Diggins-Smith converting for a three-point play for a 69-59 edge with 3:40 left.

Seattle led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but the Aces, like they had in the first half, mounted a charge.

Las Vegas threatened several times to pull even or take the lead across the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, getting as close as 54-53 following a Kate Martin basket with 8:31 left in the game.

After leading 36-28 at the half, Storm clung to a 54-51 lead going to the fourth quarter. Wilson and Plum accounted for 35 of the Aces’ points through three quarters.

Las Vegas scored only seven points in the game’s first eight minutes, then rattled off nine points with three 3-pointers in a 72-second span to pull within 17-16 by the end of the first quarter.

–Field Level Media

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