Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sunday, July 21, 2024 81° Today's Paper


Sports BreakingTop News

Aces, Storm clash in matchup of potent offenses

THE REPUBLIC / USA TODAY NETWORK
                                Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike is defended by Phoenix Mercury forward Natasha Mack on June 16.
1/1
Swipe or click to see more

THE REPUBLIC / USA TODAY NETWORK

Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike is defended by Phoenix Mercury forward Natasha Mack on June 16.

Seattle Storm star Jewell Loyd said the heart of her game is the ability to score at mid-range.

“It’s my bread and butter,” she said.

Loyd and the Storm will try to feast in a Wednesday home matinee against the two-time WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces in what promises to be an entertaining, free-wheeling matchup of two of the league’s highest-scoring teams.

Las Vegas (13-7) leads the league in scoring at 89.4 points per game, while the Storm (14-7) are third at 84.1. The Aces also pace the WNBA in field goal percentage (45.5) and fewest turnovers (12.1), while Seattle tops the league in steals (9.8) and blocked shots (5.8).

The Storm are coming off an 84-71 home win Sunday against Chicago, getting 24 points and 13 rebounds from Nneka Ogwumike and 20 points out of Loyd. Skylar Diggins-Smith chipped in 15 points and eight assists, eclipsing 4,500 career points.

“She’s the general,” Ogwumike said of Diggins-Smith. “She’s really like the muscle and brain of the team. That’s a huge asset to have, especially as someone who plays point guard in this league.”

Meanwhile, Las Vegas rolls into town fresh off a 104-85 rout Sunday of Dallas as WNBA scoring leader A’ja Wilson collected 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead four players in double figures.

The Aces have won seven of their last eight, starting the stretch last month with double-digit home victories over Seattle and the Connecticut Sun. Star point guard Chelsea Gray’s return has helped, as has the Aces’ realization that they are everyone’s big game.

“We just have to understand that other teams are going 110 (mph) against us,” coach Becky Hammon said. “It’s not a good time for us to be on cruise control, and I think we’ve been on cruise control a little bit.”

Wilson is pumping in 27 points per game to go along with 10.9 rebounds and a league-high 2.7 blocked shots.

The teams have split two meetings this season.

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines. Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.