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LV Aces Over Chicago Sky 84-80

Steve Marcus

Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson (22) is fouled by Chicago Sky guard Diamond DeShields (1) during a game at Mandalay Bay Events Center Thursday, July 5, 2018.

Bill Laimbeer’s dream of a dominant, two-headed post team was realized on Saturday, as A’ja Wilson scored a career-high 39 points and Liz Cambage scored 12 points in overtime to power the Aces to a 102-97 win over the Indiana Fever.

Led by Wilson’s 14-of-20 shooting performance, Las Vegas tallied 60 points in the paint to Indiana’s 24.

All those inside baskets almost weren’t enough for the Aces, as Indiana got hot from the outside and made 13-of-24 from 3-point range on the night. Erica Wheeler’s corner 3 with 17 seconds left tied the game at 84-84, and when Kelsey Plum missed a pull-up jumper at the buzzer the game moved to a five-minute OT period.

Cambage didn’t play in the fourth quarter because Laimbeer felt she wasn’t “engaged” in the game, but he inserted her back into the lineup to start overtime and the move paid off as Cambage scored five of Las Vegas’s six field goals in OT.

Wilson found Cambage under the basket for a layup to give the Aces a 95-94 lead with less than two minutes to play in OT, and after a defensive stop Cambage posted up and powered her way to another score to make it 97-94. Wilson and Cambage each hit a pair of free throws in the final minute to ice the contest.

Laimbeer said the Aces need that overtime version of Cambage on a more regular basis.

“Cambage in overtime went to work,” he said. “That’s what she does, that’s who she is. It was good to see that. She played with all the confidence in the world. When Liz is fully engaged like she was in the overtime, she’s really good. When she floats out there – she got distracted by the foul trouble, she never really got into the game – but you saw what she could do in that overtime period.”

After starting the game 0-of-5 from the field, Cambage finished with 16 points in 24 minutes on 6-of-14 shooting.

Cambage, who was frustrated by a lack of foul calls early in the game, said she needed that overtime performance to make up for not contributing down the stretch.  

“Another night of me being hacked,” Cambage said. “And then it got in my head a bit and I sat out the fourth. [I] really had to come out in overtime to get it done.”

Wilson assisted on two of Cambage’s baskets in overtime and said the team fed off Cambage’s energy.

“She gave us constant buckets, and that was something we needed,” Wilson said. “It was rough for her. Great players go through that, and it was tough, but she didn’t hold her head down at all. She just kept pushing through so she gave us that burst and that extra energy we needed. Those buckets were so crucial for us.”

While Cambage stole the show in overtime, Wilson kept Las Vegas afloat for the first 40 minutes. Indiana knocked down long shot after long shot in the first half, but Wilson went to work on the inside and scored 22 points to keep things knotted at the break, 45-45.

After Indiana took a 68-67 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Wilson scored eight of the next 17 points to get the Aces to overtime.

In addition to her 39 points, Wilson also posted 11 rebounds and five assists.

Las Vegas is now 7-5 on the season. The Aces will play next on Tuesday afternoon, when they host the Chicago Sky for a matinee game.

Mike Grimala can be reached at 702-948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Mike on Twitter at

Article written by #LasVegasSun