Updated August 2, 2020 - 7:21 pm
After Friday’s loss to Phoenix, Aces coach Bill Laimbeer called his team’s energy level to start the game unacceptable.
The Aces made sure they didn’t make the same mistake twice.
A’ja Wilson had 19 points and eight rebounds, and the Aces ran out to a 15-2 lead and never trailed in a 79-70 win over the Dallas Wings on Sunday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Arike Ogunbowale had 20 points to lead Dallas, which was 4-for-30 from 3-point range and had its two-game winning streak snapped.
Here are three takeaways from the win:
1. Seven with seven
Wilson had her fourth straight game with at least 17 points to start the season, but she received plenty of help.
Lindsay Allen, who missed Friday’s game after an inconclusive COVID-19 test, and Kayla McBride added 11 points apiece, and Jackie Young and Dearica Hamby each scored 10 for the Aces (2-2). Carolyn Swords and Danielle Robinson both scored seven, giving the Aces seven players with at least seven points.
“I think that’s who we’re going to be, especially when Angel (McCoughtry) isn’t out there to give us even bigger firepower,” Laimbeer said of the balance. “If we move the ball, we’re capable scorers, capable of attacking the basket.”
2. Answering all challenges
The Aces led by 10 or more for most of the game, but the Wings (2-2) occasionally made runs to keep the result in doubt.
Dallas scored six of the final eight points in the first quarter to trail by six and went on an 11-2 run to end the first half and pull within 42-37. The Wings got a Kayla Thornton 3-pointer early in the second half to get as close as four, but the Aces responded with a 10-2 run that pushed their lead back into double digits, and it stayed that way until the final seconds.
“We knew we’d have to get off to a good start and come into the third quarter making sure we were locked in on defense and just get going in transition on offense,” Young said.
Las Vegas’ largest lead was after a three-point play from Hamby that made the score 65-50.
3. ‘Energy team’ helps lead the charge
One of the reasons Laimbeer said he put Lindsay Allen in the starting lineup to begin the season was he likes the players it allows him to bring off the bench.
Three of them — Hamby, Young and Robinson — have become known as the energy team, and they all played an important role in Sunday’s win.
“That spark and that energy, a lot of teams might not have that coming off the bench,” Wilson said. “For us to take advantage of that and use our speed and length in that situation with those three, it’s very key in to who we are.”
The trio combined for 27 points, 15 rebounds and six assists, and they also created 14 free throw attempts, making 10.
The Aces will meet defending WNBA champion Washington at 5 p.m. Wednesday.