Chicago, IL — With a double-bye on the line, the Las Vegas Aces were out for blood in tonight’s game against the Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena. The 103-70 defeat was enough to push the Aces to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.
The series these two teams have played against each other was tied (2-2) prior to tonight’s game. The Las Vegas Aces knew what they needed to do to win and executed their game plan tonight in Chicago. Despite Candace Parker’s 20-point game, it was no match for the six Aces players scoring in double digits (Jackie Young 16 points, A’ja Wilson 12 points, Riquana Williams 22 points, Chelsea Gray 10 points, Dearica Hamby 17 points, and Kelsey Plum 20 points).
In the first quarter, the Sky and Aces were trading buckets with each other and there definitely was some physical play going on. After that first period, Chicago just could not get into a rhythm offensively or defensively. Parker was trying to keep her team engaged, but when it came time to rally, it was difficult to watch for those who know the Sky’s potential in the playoffs.
Las Vegas, on the other hand, came to get some revenge from the last time they met the Sky. Hustle plays, 50/50 balls, and energy are why the Aces won tonight’s game.
Even though the Sky was able to score better in the third (21 points) the Aces kept going scoring almost 30 points in the period. Las Vegas did cool down in the final period, yet by then, they had already put Chicago in the review mirror to pull in another win, 103-70.
The Aces’ attention to detail, execution, and discipline made them no match for the Chicago Sky Friday night.
As a college basketball player, I have watched these women play the game they love, and I share this passion with them. Their intensity, focus, and diligence are truly admirable, and it makes me wonder how many people we inspire by just playing a game we love. The arena was filled with young female basketball players just itching to get a glimpse of their favorite player in action. Things like this are bigger than the game of basketball and it is always nice to take it all in.
The professionals have it at a whole other level than what I can imagine. To see their jerseys around the arena, signs, and chants probably make them feel like they are on top of the world. I know it would make me feel that way.
So, what’s next? The Las Vegas Aces have clinched the No. 2 seed in this road win over Chicago. This gives them a double-bye into the semifinals, which begins Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Michelob ULTRA Arena. The Chicago Sky will have to see how this weekend’s games go to see who they face off in the WNBA Playoffs.