The Seattle Storm fell to Las Vegas 96-80 in the second of back-to back contests to fall to 1-1. Las Vegas came out smoking and ready to play after the Storm dominated in game one. The Aces gave Seattle fits in the paint all night, and also did a great job moving the ball and knocking down open shots.
Seattle made a couple of runs, but the Aces always seemed to have an answer for them. The Storm cut into the lead in the second half and trailed by only four to start the fourth quarter, but the Aces would extend that lead and never look back.
Breanna Steward led Seattle in scoring with 26 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. Ezi Magbegor played well in her first start of the season scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Jewell Loyd added 17 points, and Katie Lou Samuelson scored 13 points, but even such balanced scoring wasn’t enough to compete with the Aces last night.
One thing simply jumps off the stat sheet: Sue Bird scoring no points on only two attempts. It makes sense to wonder if she was a little banged up after colliding with Liz Cambage. The Storm will certainly hope that Bird will have a bounce-back game in tomorrow’s matchup with the Lynx.
Las Vegas for their part was highly efficient, shooting 53% from the field and 40% from three-point land. The Aces frontcourt was just lethal with A’ja Wilson and Cambage upfront. The duo scored 18 points apiece and were dominant on the inside. Jackie Young was playing ultra-aggressive and scored 21 points and went 10 for 10 from the free throw line. Young was attacking the basket, and Seattle just had no answer down the stretch.
Aces point guard Chelsea Gray played well, adding 11 points and 7 assists and looked far more comfortable in this game than on opening night.
Clearly the Storm missed the size of Mercedes Russell in this one. When you play against a team that’s built like Las Vegas, you need size up front to deal with both Cambage and Wilson. The Aces’ ball movement was impressive tonight, notably different from the first game, when inefficiency led to multiple opportunities for the Storm in transition. The Storm will take the split in the first two games and look to improve as the season goes on.
Next for the Storm, they will take on the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday at 8 PM ET on NBA TV.
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