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Gray, Plaisance and Aces looking for response after historic defeat

Aces guard Kelsey Plum tweeted a GIF at 12:19 p.m Thursday.

It featured three repeating scenes from movies, shows and wrestling of people getting slapped, including, among others, comedian Dave Chappelle dressed as musician Rick James slapping actor Charlie Murphy during a sketch from “Chappelle’s Show.” Plum paired the GIF with a brief caption, “In film today….”

Watching the tape from Tuesday’s defeat against the reigning-champion Chicago Sky — who’s rally from a 28-point deficit set the record for the largest comeback in WNBA history — was a reminder for the Aces about what got them this far and what may prevent them from achieving a championship.

“On both ends of the court, we just weren’t sharp,” veteran point guard Chelsea Gray said. “We steered away from who we are and what our identity has been the entire season.”

The Aces have a chance to rebound when they host the Washington Mystics (11-9) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Michelob Ultra Arena.

The Aces suffered their worst defeat of the season Tuesday. There aren’t many to choose from as the Aces 13-3 record is still the WNBA’s best, but there were also no excuses for losing a game where the Aces scored 41 points in the first quarter.

There were no travel delays like the ones the Aces faced ahead of their first loss of the season against the Mystics. There were no major injuries like Jackie Young’s ankle sprain and Gray’s stitches, which knocked both starters out of large stretches of the fourth quarter in the team’s second loss of the season against the Connecticut Sun.

After the loss to the Sky, coach Becky Hammon said she wanted this loss to hurt, and with a small break following Tuesday’s game, the Aces have been forced to stew on everything which went wrong. The way they lost, though, has stayed with them for the past several days.

“It left a bad taste in our mouth,” reserve forward Theresa Plaisance said.

However, the former LSU forward said Tuesday’s loss could be a good thing for the Aces. It reminded them of their own vulnerabilities as a team, and both Gray and Plaisance think the defeat has forced the team to lock back in and return to what helped them get off to such a hot start to the season, namely their defense.

The chance to bounce back from Tuesday’s loss against the Mystics, one of the only other teams to beat the Aces this season, is what Hammon’s team wants.

“This is a new opportunity for us to correct the things we didn’t do against Chicago,” Plaisance said.

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

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