LAS VEGAS – On a night in which both teams shot just above 30 percent from the field, the Seattle Storm fell just short of the Las Vegas Aces, 60-56. Western Conference Player of the Week A’ja Wilson secured the go-ahead basket with under a minute to play, and 27-year old Kayla McBride drained two free throws to put the Aces out of reach.
Natasha Howard recorded 14 points for her fourth double-double with 12 rebounds and a season-best four blocks. Liz Cambage also reached double-digits with 14 points and 13 rebounds for her second double-double as a member of the Aces.
The Storm went 0-for-7 out of the gate before Jewell Loyd ended the scoring drought at the 6:25 mark with a steal and layup. However, her night ended early as she was forced to exit the game after sustaining a right ankle injury on the play.
Seattle’s bench rallied in the second quarter to keep the team alive, accounting for 18 of the Storm’s 32 points at the half, including nine from Crystal Langhorne, who finished with a season-high 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting.
The Storm took the lead for the first time on an Alysha Clark three-pointer with just under two minutes left in the third quarter. However, Aces responded with six unanswered points to pull ahead by four entering the final frame.
With the game tied with 1:05 left in regulation, Aces reserve Dearica Hamby missed her chance to make it a three-point play and the score remained locked until A’ja Wilson dropped one in from under the rim.
Wilson made one of two from the charity stripe on the Aces’ next possession to extend the Aces’ lead to three with 19 seconds left. Out of a timeout, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was unable to get a clean shot as Wilson blocked the attempt, marking the Storm’s final attempt of the night.
KEY STATS OF THE GAME
- Las Vegas went 13 for 18 from the free throw line, while Seattle went 5 for 10. Five of the Aces final seven points came from the charity stripe.
- Seattle was held to under 60 points and 32 percent shooting for the first time since 2015.
- The Storm started 0-for-7 out of the gate before Jewell Loydended the scoring drought at the 6:25 mark a driving layup. However, her night ended early as she was forced to exit the game after sustaining a right ankle sprain on the play.
- Despite a cold first quarter, the Storm bench rallied in the second to keep the team alive, accounting for 18 of the Storm’s 32 points at the half.
- Storm took its first lead of the night at the 1:52 mark of the third quarter on a three-pointer by Alysha Clark.
- Natasha Howardtallied a season-high four blocks and recorded her fourth double-double of the season in her 12th game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Last year, Howard notched her fourth double-double in the Storm’s 27th game.
- Howard also hit a pair of three-pointers for the first time since Aug. 12 last season (at Minnesota).
- Mercedes Russell grabbed 10 rebounds for the Storm, marking her second career game with double-digit rebounds.
- Crystal Langhornepoured in nine points in the second quarter and finished the night with a season-high 11 points (5-10 FG) to go with four rebounds.
- In her third start for the Storm, Shavonte Zellouscontributed 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. She started the fourth quarter with six consecutive points for the Storm.
- Seattle put up a season-high 30 three-point attempts (its most in a game since 2012) and took a season-low 10 free throw attempts.
LAS VEGAS HIGHLIGHTS
- Liz Cambage notched her second double-double of the season with 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. She was the only player to score in double-figures in the first half (10).
- Cambage scored in double figures for the 41st straight game, which is the longest active streak in the league (14 points).
- The win moves the Aces to two games over .500 for the first time since the 2014 season.
- Las Vegas (6-4) is now tied for fourth place in the WNBA standings with Seattle (7-5), a half game back of Chicago (6-3), and a game back of the Mystics (7-3).
- A’ja Wilson finished the night with three blocks, the last coming in the final 12 seconds of the game to prevent Seattle from scoring a three-pointer that would have tied the contest.
Seattle returns to Alaska Airlines Arena to begin a six-game home stand on Friday, June 28, facing the Chicago Sky at 7 p.m. on JOEtv.