LAS VEGAS – The Las Vegas Aces hosted the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday night and showed them how a championship team dominates.
It wasn’t just the 2022 WNBA championship celebration night for the Aces, who blasted the Sparks, 93-65. It was also head coach Becky Hammon’s first game on the bench after serving a two-game suspension. Hammon was suspended for the first two games of the season following a WNBA investigation that found the franchise violated league rules regarding impermissible player benefits and workplace policies involving former Ace Dearica Hamby. The WNBA also vacated the Aces’ 2025 first-round pick.
“It’s my 25th year, whether it’s in the WNBA or the NBA and it really is my home,” Hammon said of his comeback. “It was really nice to go out and be with my team. But honestly they’ve been so great through it all. They know how to make me smile for sure. It was nice to have that moment with them . .”
The Aces started their 2-0 season without Hammon, which included a 94-85 win over those same Sparks on Thursday in Los Angeles.
After enjoying the excitement of receiving their championship rings and raising the title banner, the Aces quickly showed how determined they were to defend their championship.
The Aces dominated early, as A’ja Wilson opened the game with two easy baskets, and the Aces never let up.
Las Vegas finished the first half with a 31-point lead after WNBA Finals MVP Chelsea Gray knocked down a 3-pointer from 31 feet at the buzzer.
Kelsey Plum and Wilson combined for 30 points in the first half for the Aces.
The Aces (3-0) continued their dominance in the second half and secured a 28-point win, preserving their unbeaten record. Plum finished with 19 points and 5 assists, and Wilson had 23 points and 6 rebounds.
Wilson spoke of the pressure of chasing a second title, “I try not to look at it as defending a title or wanting to go back. I’m just approaching it the same way I did. the first one i think we all do… if we look at it that way we’re gonna put more pressure on ourselves and it’s downhill from there i’m so glad we eliminated that ring because that it’s just a distraction to put us aside and now we can really focus and lock in. But we know that that target on our back is now a lot bigger. That being said, we’re working a lot harder.
The Aces continue their quest for another championship with this victory against Sparks (1-2), and Hammon seems to have missed nothing.