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Earthquake postpones Aces Friday game

An earthquake forced the postponement of the Aces’ game against the Washington Mystics on Friday night.

Not the worst possible outcome — given how poorly they played the first half.

Mandalay Bay Events Center shook during the final minute of the second quarter, and officials stopped play momentarily before allowing the Aces to conclude the half by failing to attempt a shot — and trailing 51-36 to the mighty Mystics, who blew them out June 20.

Building staffers examined the playing surface while team staff and referees contacted the WNBA to inform them of the situation. Play was suspended for about 45 minutes, and league officials decided to postpone the game.

No continuation date has been announced.

“Mama said there’d be days like this, both with how bad we played to the weirdness of the earthquake,” said Aces coach Bill Laimbeer, who said he did not feel the earthquake. “I’m disappointed in the way we showed up again. It’s very frustrating.”

Las Vegas forward A’ja Wilson — like her coach — did not feel the earthquake and said “this is something I’ve never encountered before.”

“We didn’t know what was going on,” she added. “We just kept talking about the game. How we can get better in the second half, if we played. And we didn’t. … Hate it had to turn out like this.”

The Aces had hoped to mount a comeback after a dreadful first half that resembled their 95-72 loss to the Mystics last month. They were out of sync on both ends of the floor, while Washington was masterful in its tactical strategy and execution while opening with a 23-7 run.

Mystics guards attacked the basket amid little resistance and delivered pinpoint passes to cutters and shooters awaiting uncontested field-goal attempts. The Aces were, again, careless with the ball and struggled to generate open shots against a formidable defensive front.

Las Vegas center Liz Cambage was a force near the basket, converting 6 of 8 shots for a team-high 12 points. Her teammates combined to shoot 9 of 28 from the field, while Washington converted 58.8 percent of its shots.

“I was disappointed they didn’t show up again for a big game,” Laimbeer said. “We never had energy to begin with. … The way we performed in a first quarter, it was embarrassing.”

Aces players figured there was a “50-50” chance they’d continue the game and were disappointed it didn’t finish Friday night.

“We wanted to go out there and compete and make a comeback,” Las Vegas guard Sydney Colson said. “I don’t know what protocol is, because I’ve never been in this situation. I figured (the league) wouldn’t put us in a harmful situation.”

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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