The Las Vegas Aces took on the Los Angeles Sparks last night at the Mandalay Events Center on The Strip. The Sparks entered the game in first place with an 11-4 record and it was the first time the Sparks faced the Aces this season. The underdog Aces upset the Sparks, winning 94-78.
The Aces (6-11) have now won five of their last nine games, after starting the season with just two wins in their first 10 games, and are just two wins away from matching last season’s entire win total in San Antonio. Rookie of the Year candidate A’Ja Wilson dominated the ballgame with 29 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Kelsey Plum added 14 points and nine rebound while Kayla McBride contributed 12 points and seven boards in the Aces’ quality victory over the Sparks.
— WNBA (@WNBA) June 30, 2018
Former No. 1 draft picks go head to head
There was plenty of anticipation heading into the game as two of the best forwards in the league were slated to face off against each other on the court. Wilson was expected to match up against seven-year veteran, Nneka Ogwumike. Ogwumike was forced to the bench with a back injury, though, and did not play in the game.
The two will collide again July 1, when the Aces travel to Los Angeles. The matchup is expected to be the beginning of a classic rivlary. Both were No. 1 draft picks. and are leading the league in various statistical categories. Ogwumike is ranked third in field goal percentage with a .584 average and is also ranked fifth in steals (1.5 SPG). Wilson is ranked third in the league in points per game with an average of 20.2 and is ranked third in rebounds with an average of 8.9 per game.
— Matt Heuer (@mattheuer) June 30, 2018
Ogwumike’s team has obviously been more successful in the past, but if Wilson can dominate and keep scoring points as usual it would definitely give the Aces a better chance to beat the number one team.
Sparks players top almost every statistical category
The Sparks were dominating almost all of major statistical categories. In fact, four of the Sparks players are ranked top five in the league in three point percentage, field goal percentage, steals and assists. Along with their success as a team in rankings, two Sparks’s players have recently been on an extra hot streak.
In Thursday’s game against the Seattle Storm, Candace Parker had her fourth double double of the season. That game also marked her second game in a row with 27 plus points. Chelsea Gray reached her 300th career rebound in last night’s game and currently ranks fourth in the league for that category.
Back-to-back games with 27 plus points & notching her 4th double-double of the season, @Candace_Parker is displaying an MVP-worthy season as well as an All-Star!💪🏀 #GoSparks #All4LA #WNBAVOTE @LA_Sparks pic.twitter.com/KDXGW2v3M2
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) June 29, 2018
A Winning History
The Aces are brand new to Vegas while the Sparks have a history of winning championships. The team has won three WNBA titles in the past twenty years. The most recent one was in 2016. The two leaders of that 2016 team, Ogwumike and Parker are still competing for the Sparks and dominating the court.
The Aces are looking to emulate the Sparks’ success. With Wilson and a strong core of young players, the Aces are on the right track towards building their own tradition of success.
— Las Vegas Aces ♦️♠️ (@LVAces) June 29, 2018