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Top two teams collide when Aces entertain Sun

Sportsnaut
Oct 2, 2020; Bradenton, Florida, USA; A game ball waits on a sanitation cart during game 1 of the WNBA finals between the Las Vegas Aces and the Seattle Storm at IMG Academy. Mandatory Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Aces will look to run their winning streak to seven games when they host the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night.

Las Vegas has won by 20 or more points three times during its streak.

Perhaps things will be tougher Tuesday as the Aces (8-1) and Sun (6-2) possess the top two records in the WNBA. The clubs will play again Thursday in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is coming off an 83-76 road victory over the defending WNBA champion Chicago Sky on Saturday.

A’ja Wilson scored 22 points and matched her career high of 16 rebounds, Kelsey Plum tallied 19 points, and Chelsea Gray added 18.

“A good win and a great test for us,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said afterward.

The double-double was the fifth of the season for Wilson, the 2020 WNBA MVP, and the 42nd of her career. Wilson is averaging 16.4 points and is tied for the rebounding lead with teammate Dearica Hamby at 10 per game.

Hamby had 14 points and 12 boards against the Sky. She had four double-doubles this season and 23 in her career.

Connecticut has won six of its past seven games as it begins a four-game trip. In addition to the two games in Las Vegas, the Sun will visit the Phoenix Mercury on Friday and the Seattle Storm on Sunday.

Head coach Curt Miller and assistant coach Brandi Poole remain in COVID-19 protocol after they missed Saturday’s 79-71 home win over the Washington Mystics. Forward Joyner Holmes also is in the protocol.

Assistant coach Chris Koclanes ran the squad against the Mystics and was thrilled with the team’s performance.

“I had lots of voices helping me and guiding me, and then ultimately leaning on the players and their feel, and when to go with it and when to challenge them,” Koclanes told the Hartford Courant. “(Washington) went on some runs, had us in a hole a couple of times, and I think we kind of let them play through it. … What an incredible experience.”

The Sun have four players scoring in double figures: Alyssa Thomas (16.3), DeWanna Bonner (14.0), 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones (13.8), and Brionna Jones (13.1).

–Field Level Media