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Aces set team 3-point record in victory at Atlanta

Updated May 13, 2022 - 9:23 pm

Speaking before Friday’s game against the Atlanta Dream, Becky Hammon wanted to see how her team responded after the Aces lost their first game of the year.

“You’ve got to bring the energy, bring the juice every night,” Hammon said.

Hammon got the answer she wanted Friday, as the Aces beat the Dream 96-73 at the Gateway Center at College Park in College Park, Georgia.

The Aces had a historic shooting night and had one of their most balanced offensive performances of the season. Six players scored in double figures Friday.

“We were super disruptive defensively and just locked in on both ends of the floor,” Hammon said.

Here’s three takeaways from Friday’s game:

Hammon makes history

It took Hammon’s new offense four games to break the franchise’s single game 3-point record. Friday, the Aces (3-1) made 16 shots from 3-point range. The organization’s previous record was 14 made 3s, which the team set against the Minnesota Lynx on May 30, 2014.

“It’s just about finding the paint and then making reads,” Hammon said. “When we have people in the right spots, I feel like we have quality shooters that can knock them down.”

The Aces shot 45.7 percent on 3-pointers Friday. Eight Aces players made at least one 3-pointer and five of them made multiple shots. Both Hammon and Plum said the team got the same looks they had against the Washington Mystics Tuesday, where they shot 35.3 percent, but the Aces did a better job shooting with confidence Friday.

When asked how long this record will last, Plum kept her resonse brief.

“Next game,” she said

The return of Riquna

Riquna Williams hasn’t played a competitive basketball game since November, 2021. Against the Dream (2-1), it looked like she’d been playing for months.

“I felt great,” she said. “It’s great to be back out there with my teammates.”

Williams missed the first three games of the season with a left foot injury. She had discussions with the Aces coaching staff about playing after the team arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday. She woke up pain-free Thursday for workouts and went through the shootaround with no problems.

Warm-ups were the final hurdle Williams had to overcome. She ran some sprints before the game and got the approval of Aces athletic trainer Michelle Anumba.

Back to the basics

Hammon wasn’t happy with her offense during the Aces loss Tuesday, but she was more worried about the defense.

“We’ve just got to go back to some basics,” she said before Friday’s game.

The Aces defense showed up against the Dream, registering 11 steals and eight blocks. They also forced 19 turnovers, which helped them get out in transition. The Aces scored 14 fastbreak points Friday after scoring two against the Mystics.

Hammon said the team went back and worked on their training camp principles before Friday’s game. Plum praised the Aces defensive rotations, boxing out and energy, singling out forward A’ja Wilson in particular for her five blocks.

“We’re scrappers,” Plum said.

The Aces return to Michelob Ultra Arena at 7 p.m. Tuesday for a rematch with the Phoenix Mercury.

The Aces return to Michelob Ultra Arena at 7 p.m. Tuesday for a rematch with the Phoenix Mercury.

Contact reporter Andy Yamashita at ayamashita@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ANYamashita on Twitter.

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