The Las Vegas Aces look to sweep a back-to-back against the Washington Mystics on Tuesday in Las Vegas, one game removed from a rollicking comeback in their return from the Olympic layoff.
The Aces (16-6), playing for the first time since July 11, outscored the Mystics 29-14 in the fourth quarter en route to an 84-83 win on Sunday. Chelsea Gray’s jumper with 4.6 seconds remaining capped the rally.
Gray and teammate A’ja Wilson helped Team USA to gold at the Tokyo Olympics over the league’s month-long intermission. Wilson picked up where she left off on the other side of the world, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in Sunday’s win.
“Getting a win like this against Washington, a good team, definitely helps you get back into (the WNBA season),” Wilson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Las Vegas’ return to the season also came with a move into first place. Reigning league champion Seattle’s overtime loss to Chicago on Sunday, coupled with the Aces’ victory, tied the two atop the West standings.
Washington (8-11), meanwhile, hovers near the cutline for the playoffs in eighth place with a little more than a month remaining in the regular season. Although the Mystics dropped their first game back to action since July 10, the Mystics have some good news in their immediate future with the possible return of Elena Delle Donne.
Delle Donne has not played since completing her MVP season in 2019, but could be back as soon as this week per Washington coach Mike Thibault to the Washington Post.
“I still don’t have a date where I can tell you, ‘Yes, I will be playing on this day,'” Delle Donne told the Post. “Am I doing more and more each day? Yes. Some days, am I doing the same thing I did the day before to see how I can handle this type of load? Yes.”
In Delle Donne’s absence, frontcourt star Tina Charles has performed at an MVP-caliber level. She finished Sunday’s loss with 20 points and eight rebounds and is averaging just below 26 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Charles and the formidable Las Vegas frontcourt of Wilson and Liz Cambage (14.8 ppg, 8.9 rpg) will set the tone for Tuesday’s rematch.
–Field Level Media