Wed, 06 Jul 2022

Aces looking for second win this week vs. Mercury

Field Level Media
21 May 2022, 03:25 GMT+10

It's early enough in the season that team chemistry can be an issue, which appears to be the case for both the Phoenix Mercury and Las Vegas Aces.

They'll meet for the second time this week on Saturday afternoon in Las Vegas.

The Aces (5-1) are in better shape record-wise but that doesn't mean it's all smooth, forward A'ja Wilson said.

"We're holding each other accountable," Wilson said. "The expectations are there. It's always been there for the Aces, but right now we're really trying to come together in the locker room."

The Mercury (2-3) hope for better results and cooler heads in the return trip after falling 86-74 in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

In that game, teammates Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi became heated with each other and were separated by teammates.

Phoenix coach Vanessa Nygaard referred to that as just part of a season.

"We're not the first team to have any kind of arguments or disagreements on the bench," Nygaard said. "People play sports with a lot of passion."

The Aces rallied from a 12-point hole as all five Las Vegas starters scored in double figures against the Mercury. Since that meeting, the Aces topped Minnesota while Phoenix lost to Dallas on Thursday night.

The Mercury will have to figure things out on the road as they don't play again in Phoenix until June 3.

Taurasi had 31 points in the 94-84 loss to Dallas, becoming the WNBA's first player age 39 or older to post more than 30 points in a game.

"I think she should have scored her age," Nygaard said.

If Taurasi, who has 50 games of 30 or more points in her pro career, has another big offensive outburst, that could mean trouble for Las Vegas.

Concerns are on the defensive end for the Aces. Coach Becky Hammon wasn't pleased that Minnesota posted 40 points in the paint and became the fourth consecutive opponent to outrebound Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, Aces forward Dearica Hamby eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for her career with 14 points Thursday night.

The Aces likely will be without Riquna Williams, who missed Thursday's game with a sprained left foot. She had four points in 16 minutes against Phoenix earlier in the week. Her time off could be extensive.

"I'll always error on the side of conservative," Hammon said.

--Field Level Media

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