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Aces lose back-to-back games for first time under Hammon

Las Vegas walks off the court following an overtime loss to Washington. Photo Credit: Duna Haigler

The final two games of a three-game homestand for the Las Vegas Aces, sent the team to unfamiliar territory.

Most recently, it was a 87-86 loss to the Washington Mystics from the Michelob Ultra Arena, Saturday, June 25.

The Aces have now lost back-to-back games for the first time under first-year head coach Becky Hammon.

Washington also beat Las Vegas in D.C. back in early May, for the first loss of the season for Hammon’s group.

All of the Aces’ (13-4) losses have come to Eastern Conference teams while three have come at home.

Currently, Las Vegas still leads Seattle by two and a half games for the best record in the Western Conference. Additionally, the Aces lead the Chicago sky by a game for tops in the WNBA.

Next on the schedule for Las Vegas is a trip to Los Angeles for a matchup with the Sparks that will kick off a four-game road trip.

The Aces have taken both meetings against the Sparks this year by an average of 22.5 points per game.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 27 from the Crypto.Com Arena.

A three-pointer by guard Jackie Young with 7.7 seconds left in regulation tied the game at 80 apiece.

Overall, the game produced nine lead changes and seven ties.

Las Vegas just couldn’t seem to get out of its own way every time it closed the gap.

Early in the fourth, after a three-pointer from forward A’ja Wilson to tie the game at 63, Washington forward Elena Delle Donne knocked down a three of her own to regain the lead.

About midway through the fourth quarter, the team committed back-to-back offensive fouls after cutting the deficit to one.

The Aces shedded the Mystics’ lead back down to a point before a three-point play from Delle Donne pushed the lead to four.

While Las Vegas did enough to get the game to overtime, Washington did more in the closing minutes.

Delle Donne scored 15 of her 19 points in the second half, while the team was led in scoring by forward Alysha Clark with 20.

Young was tied for the Aces team-lead with 20 points on 7-of-15 from the field to go along with three assists and three rebounds.

She has scored 43 points on 16-of-32 shooting over the last two games after missing games earlier this month with a sprained ankle.

Guard Kelsey Plum also poured in 20 points on 7-of-18 from the floor including five made threes.

She knocked down three of her five threes in the first 10 minutes before pulling off a three-point play with 15.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter to cut the Washington lead back to one.

Plum also did it on both ends as she fought through a screen in overtime causing a Mystics offensive foul with under 30 seconds left.

Wilson scratched out 17 points on 6-of-16 from the field with two made threes to go along with 14 rebounds.

Young, Plum and Wilson were all named earlier this week as starters in the WNBA All-Star Game along with Hammon who will coach in the showcase.

Wilson battled through foul trouble early in the game, picking up two fouls in the first 4:18 of the first quarter.

That opened the door for 2021 first round pick, Iliana Rupert from France, to get her first WNBA minutes.

She scored her first career points in the second quarter before draining her first three of her career in the third quarter.

Wilson scored her first points of the game at the 4:57-mark of the second quarter.

Fellow forward Dearica Hamby struggled with foul trouble as well, recording just five points on 1-of-7 from the field in over 39 minutes of action.

She also hauled in nine rebounds before fouling out in overtime.

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