Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Vegas dominating WNBA once again

- Doug Feinberg

The Las Vegas Aces celebrated last season’s championsh­ip over the weekend and are looking once again like the team to beat n the league.

The Aces unveiled the championsh­ip banner on Saturday before dismantlin­g a short-handed Los Angeles team. An easy win over Minnesota the next day has Las Vegas at 4-0, winning by an average of 24.75 points.

“This team has not given me any reasons to think they will not show up on any given night,” Aces coach Becky Hammon said. “No matter the circumstan­ces, they come to compete, they come to play and they play hard.”

The Aces, who now begin a fourgame road trip, once again were the top team in the AP WNBA power poll. They were followed by Connecticu­t, New York, Chicago and Washington. Dallas was sixth with Los Angeles, Phoenix and Atlanta next. Indiana, Seattle and Minnesota round out the rankings.

Jackie Young has been a big reason why Las Vegas has gotten off to a hot start. Young, who was the AP Player of the Week, is averaging 23 points this season. She’s shooting 58.5% from behind the 3-point line going 13 for 23.

Griner watch: Griner has been impressive in her first three games, averaging 21.7 points, 8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks while shooting an incredible 74.2% from the field.

The Sparks have one game this week, hosting Los Angeles on Friday before embarking on a three-game road trip to Dallas and Indiana. The trip to Dallas will serve as a homecoming for Griner, who hails from the Houston area.

Trending upward: The WNBA’s opening week attendance surged up 24% compared to last season’s opening week.

The jump in attendance coincided with strong TV ratings that saw the opening night game which featured the return of Brittney Griner generate 683,000 average viewers on ESPN. It was the most viewed WNBA regular season game on cable in 24 years.

The WNBA’s opening weekend also drew a record 30 million video views for the league’s social media accounts.

Streak busted: The Indiana Fever ended their record-tying 20-game losing streak with a victory over the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. The Fever had lost 20 in a row dating back to last season to tie the Tulsa Shock for the most consecutiv­e losses all-time. Indiana lost its final 18 games last season before dropping its first two this year. No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston is a big reason for optimism in Indiana. She became the first player in league history to have three consecutiv­e games with 10 or more points while shooting 60% or better from the field.

She is is averaging 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists on 66.7% shooting from the field so far.

 ?? LUCAS PELTIER/USA TODAY SPORTS ?? Aces guard Chelsea Gray shoots against the Lynx on Sunday in Las Vegas.
LUCAS PELTIER/USA TODAY SPORTS Aces guard Chelsea Gray shoots against the Lynx on Sunday in Las Vegas.

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