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Jun 10, 2024 8:48 pm

Lnyx square off against spiraling Aces

A'ja Wilson

Two of the WNBA’s best teams will meet on Tuesday night when the Minnesota Lynx travel to take on the Las Vegas Aces.

Winners of four of their last five games, the Lynx (8-3) have already ascended to the top of the Western Conference standings. The defending champion Aces (5-4) are not far behind as they currently sit in third place in the Western Conference, just two games back of their opponent on Tuesday.

And while Napheesa Collier leads the team in scoring (21.4 ppg), it is Kayla McBride that has served as a catalyst for the Lynx’s offense in back-to-back contests. Her 15 three-pointers in the team’s two most recent games tied Diana Taurasi (2020) for the most in any two-game stretch in WNBA history.

“I think she’s getting easier threes than maybe she got last season,” Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said of McBride’s performance this year. “But credit to her, she has to do the hard work and she has to make the shot, but it’s been pretty incredible.”

McBride has scored 57 points over the last two games — 25 in an 81-80 loss to the host Phoenix Mercury on Friday and a season-best 32 in an 83-64 victory over the visiting Seattle Storm on Sunday.

On the other hand, the Aces have entered a mini-slump after losing three of their last four games. They scored the first 14 points of Sunday’s game against the host Los Angeles Sparks before losing 96-92.

“Yeah, we’re in a rut right now, yeah it doesn’t feel great, but we have to continue to stick together,” star forward A’ja Wilson said of the team’s recent struggles. “If our locker room goes into shambles, then we have a bigger problem than just stat sheets and scoreboards.”

Wilson scored 31 points against Los Angeles. She scored at least 20 for the 14th straight game, breaking the record she shared with Taurasi (2006-07). In an 80-66 win at the Lynx on May 29, Wilson poured in a game-high 29 points and added 15 rebounds.

Tuesday’s matchup will also play a vital role in the annual WNBA Commissioner’s Cup. The Lynx’s 3-1 record is good enough for a tie with the Phoenix Mercury in the cup’s current standings. At 1-2 in the standings, the Aces are looking to claw their way into contention for the in-season trophy, despite remaining legitimate contenders in their quest for a third consecutive WNBA championship.

–Field Level Media

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