Las Vegas Aces lose three in a row for the first time since 2019

For the first time since 2019, the Las Vegas Aces have lost three games in a row. But the two-time defending champions said they’re still betting on themselves to return to the WNBA’s top tier, even though they’re currently 5-5.

“It’s a very, very, long season,” Aces star A’ja Wilson said after Las Vegas’ 100-86 loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday. “I’m not going to press the panic button. I’m still going to bet on us. I know exactly what’s in that locker room.”

The Aces had four players named to the U.S. Olympic 5×5 team Tuesday: Wilson, Jackie Young, Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray. But Gray, who was injured in last year’s WNBA Finals, has yet to play this season and her absence has been huge. Young was back in the lineup after missing the Aces’ previous game due to illness, but she didn’t look 100 percent.

The Aces, as a team, haven’t looked the same as of late, having lost four of their last five games. They lost in Atlanta on May 31, came back with a win in Dallas, but have since lost to Seattle, Los Angeles and Minnesota.

The last time Las Vegas lost three games in a row was August 23-27, 2019, when Bill Laimbeer was still head coach. This is the second-longest stretch in WNBA history between three losing streaks in a single season – 143 games – according to Elias Sports Bureau. The longest such streak was that of the Houston Comets – 224 games – from the WNBA’s launch in 1997 until 2003.

The Aces next face Phoenix on Thursday, followed by a rematch of last year’s WNBA Finals teams as New York travels to Las Vegas (ABC, 3 p.m. Saturday).

“It’s not going to get easier. It’s never been easy for us,” said Wilson, the Aces’ most consistent player, who had 28 points and 8 rebounds Tuesday. “We’re going to continue to be ourselves, continue to fight.”

Minnesota, now 9-3, saw all five starters score in double figures and shot 55.2 percent overall from the field and even slightly better (55.6, 15 of 27) from 3-point range. And that’s what Plum pointed out.

“It’s our defense,” she said of what’s bothering the Aces most right now. “That’s what we’ve always hung our hat on. We’ve won (championships) the last two years because of our defense.”

Aces coach Becky Hammon, who is in her third year in Las Vegas, admitted she had some concerns since the start of the season about the way the team was playing.

“We’re a fun group, but losing sucks,” Hammon said. “We know each other well, we’ve been through battles. Attention to detail…I thought we came out and took big steps forward offensively. And then we couldn’t keep our lunch at home. the other end.

“This is partly self-inflicted. We have to learn to stop the bleeding. It’s uncomfortable. Nobody likes it. But it could be one of the best things for us.

“I don’t want them to think too much; then you get paralyzed (by) analysis. We’re just not solid in our base. Just be solid defensively. We’re not a very good team right now, It’s just the reality. But we know we can improve.

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