Wed, 29 Jun 2022

Lynx challenge high-flying Aces with Kayla McBride back

Field Level Media
19 May 2022, 04:05 GMT+10

The Las Vegas Aces welcome the Minnesota Lynx to town on Thursday for a Commissioner's Cup game, with the visitors coming off one of the early season's most dramatic wins.

The Lynx (1-4) scored their first victory on Tuesday, 87-84, when Kayla McBride powered a fourth-quarter rally.

McBride's24-point performance -- including the game-winning 3-point play with 2.1 seconds remaining -- came just one day after her return to the United States from Turkey.

McBride played for Fenerbahce S.K. in Turkey's Women's Basketball Super League championship game on Sunday. She arrived in Los Angeles the following day and powered Minnesota to its first win of the season on Tuesday.

"The whole ride (to Los Angeles), I'm thinking about how grateful I am to do what I do," McBride said postgame. "Being a professional athlete, it's only going to last so long. So, you have to grind. But the chemistry, how much we grew just tonight, is worth it."

Adding the three-time All-Star McBride to the lineup makes Minnesota a more potent team. The Lynx also got a boost with the signing of Moriah Jefferson.

Minnesota signed Jefferson shortly after Dallas waived her on May 9. Jefferson scored 16 points in her Lynx debut, then went for 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals in Tuesday's win.

Paired with seven-time All-Star and former Most Valuable Player Sylvia Fowles, whose 20-point and 12-rebound showing at Los Angeles marked her third consecutive double-double, Minnesota aims to start a run.

Las Vegas (4-1), meanwhile, seeks its third straight win while playing at the most torrid offensive pace of any team in the young WNBA season.

The Aces average a league-best 89.8 points per game after Tuesday's 86-74 defeat of Phoenix. All five Las Vegas starters scored in double figures, with Kelsey Plum's 20 points leading the way.

Tuesday's effort proved reflective of the Aces' overall start to the season, as the entire starting five is averaging between Chelsea Gray's 10.6 points per game to Plum and Jackie Young's team-leading 18.0 per game.

A'ja Wilson and Dearica Hamby are both averaging double-doubles -- 15.2 points and 10.8 rebounds per game for Wilson, and 14.4 points with 10.8 rebounds per for Hamby.

The Aces' scoring balance reflects the philosophy first-year head coach Becky Hammon noted in her postgame press conference.

"It's not easy to be great, but I'm asking them to be great every night. We can be great, but we have to be great together," she said. "They were great together in the second half."

--Field Level Media

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