Thu, 29 Jul 2021

Aces, Lynx clash in Commissioner's Cup matchup

Field Level Media
25 Jun 2021, 04:19 GMT+10

The Las Vegas Aces take a five-game winning streak into Minneapolis on Friday for a Commissioner's Cup matchup with the Minnesota Lynx.

Las Vegas (10-3) has caught fire in recent weeks, having won eight of nine since starting the season 2-2. The Aces head into Minnesota off an eight-day layoff, last playing June 17 in a 103-76 rout of the New York Liberty.

The win was the Aces' second straight game with 100 points or more and fourth triple-digit outing since May 28.

"We're getting paint touches, and we're getting fouls called and we're kicking out for (3-pointers)," said Chelsea Gray to the Las Vegas Review-Journal following the June 17 win. Gray was one of six Aces to score in double figures against the Liberty. "Everything is flowing."

Las Vegas is the highest-scoring team in the WNBA at 91.2 points per game, posting 3.3 more per contest than the league's second-most prolific squad, Seattle. That lofty average comes without a top five individual scorer -- A'ja Wilson's team-high 18.5 points per game rank ninth in the league.

Aces coach Bill Laimbeer's reliance on depth results in six players who have appeared in all 13 games while averaging 9.5 or more points per game. That includes Liz Cambage's 15.0 points per game and team-leading 8.5 rebounds per game, tied for seventh-best in the WNBA.

The interior duo of Wilson and Cambage will match up with Minnesota's frontcourt tandem of Napheesa Collier and Sylvia Fowles. The two have combined to average 33.5 points per game, and Fowles is producing a near-double-double average with 9.6 rebounds.

Fowles finished with 26 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Lynx (6-7) to an 87-85 comeback win Wednesday over Atlanta. Minnesota outscored the Dream 19-9 in the fourth quarter to secure the 87-85 victory.

"One thing me and (Minnesota coach) Cheryl (Reeve) established the last couple days is making sure I get enough touches, and I think that's why you see the performance I had tonight," Fowles said in her postgame press conference.

For both teams, Thursday tips off a lengthy run of Commissioner's Cup games. Each play five in the competition before next month's All-Star break. Las Vegas is second in the West at 3-1, with Minnesota in fourth at 2-3.

--Field Level Media

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