The Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks both were victimized by record performances from the WNBA-leading Las Vegas Aces in their most recent games.
On Wednesday night, the Mercury and Sparks will try to bounce back when they face off in Los Angeles.
The Sparks (2-5) lost their fifth consecutive game Monday night when the Aces scored a franchise-record 39 points in the first quarter and tied a league record by making 18 3-pointers in a 104-76 rout in Las Vegas.
“I think we kind of got out of rotations defensively, which allowed them to make wide-open 3s,” Los Angeles guard Jordin Canada said. “But you know, when a team is on, they’re on.”
The Aces used a 23-3 run to take a 20-point lead by the end of the first quarter, made 11 of their first 12 3-pointers and led by as many as 36 points.
“We can’t let go of the rope that much,” Sparks coach Derek Fisher said. “There’s something I’m not doing to make sure we’re prepared to play and can sustain the energy and effort for longer.”
The Sparks will be playing just their second home game of the season when the Mercury (2-4) visit for the second game of a four-game road trip. Guard Diamond DeShields said the road trip is “a good test for us.”
The first test went badly Saturday night as Phoenix watched Las Vegas scored 38 points in the third quarter, a franchise record that lasted one game, as the Aces turned a two-point halftime lead into a 100-80 victory.
The Mercury, who have lost three in a row, have played their last two games without leading scorer Skylar Diggins-Smith (17.0 points per game), who has a non-COVID illness. It’s uncertain if she’ll be available against L.A.
DeShields has averaged 20.5 points in Diggins-Smith’s absence.
“I’m just trying to fill the gap,” DeShields said. “Sky’s not here and that’s a big gap for our offense.”
The Mercury travel to Atlanta and Chicago before returning home for three games.
–Field Level Media