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LV Aces Beat Seattle Storm

Steve Marcus

Las Vegas Aces forward Dearica Hamby (5) fights for a rebound between Seattle Storm center Mercedes Russell, left, and forward Natasha Howard during a WNBA basketball game at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Tuesday, July 23, 2019.

The Las Vegas Aces came into the 2019 season expected to be the best team in the WNBA. At the halfway point, they’ve been exactly that, as the Aces’ 79-62 win over Seattle on Wednesday ensured that they will head into the All-Star break with the league’s best record.

Las Vegas improved to 13-6 with the victory, which was the team’s seventh in its last eight games. The Aces also avenged their most recent loss, which came on July 19 at Seattle.

The Aces did it with defense, as they strangled the Seattle offense over the final 20 minutes, holding the Storm to 25.8 percent from the field in the second half (8-of-31).

The team will now break until the All-Star game, which will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 27. The Aces will have three representatives in Liz Cambage, Kayla McBride and A’ja Wilson, although Wilson is currently injured and will not play.

Head coach Bill Laimbeer was happy to close out the first half of the season on a positive note.

“There’s nothing better than going into All-Star break with a win,” Laimbeer said. “Otherwise you stew over it for three days.”

Dearica Hamby played like an All-Star on Tuesday, leading the way with a game-high 24 points. An early front-runner for Sixth Woman of the Year, Hamby drew the start in place of Wilson and connected on 9-of-13 shots from the field and hit 3-of-4 from 3-point range. She also grabbed nine rebounds, blocked two shots and came away with three steals.

Hamby’s all-around performance elicited strong praise from McBride.

“If she’s not Sixth Woman of the Year, I don’t know who’s going to be,” McBride said. “She filled in for A’ja and she came out and dominated.”

Cambage posted 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Aces, and Jackie Young totaled 13 points and five assists. Kelsey Plum scored 12 points and McBride chipped in 11 to put all five starters in double figures.

After a tight first half, Las Vegas carried a 36-35 lead into the locker room. The Aces clamped down defensively in the third quarter, limiting Seattle to 4-of-18 shooting, and Hamby took over in the fourth by scoring 10 points in the final frame. Hamby hit a 3-pointer to give Las Vegas a 64-51 lead with seven minutes left, and she buried another one to make it 77-59 with three minutes to play.

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

Article written by #LasVegasSun