WNBA

Minus Suspended Coach Becky Hammon, Aces Rout Storm 105-64 To Open Title Defense

May 20, 2023, 3:51 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

SEATTLE (AP) — Jackie Young and Kelsey Plum both scored 23 points, and the Las Vegas Aces opened defense of their WNBA championship with a 105-64 win over the Seattle Storm on Saturday.

The rematch of last year’s WNBA semifinal series won by the Aces in four games on their way to the title featured several changes and absences from that playoff series.

Most notable, Las Vegas was without head coach Becky Hammon following her two-game suspension by the league earlier this week following an investigation into former Aces player Dearica Hamby saying she had been bullied and manipulated for being pregnant.

Hammon denied that Hamby was bullied for being pregnant, saying any ill feelings between the two came from Hamby being traded.

But the Aces didn’t miss a beat without their head coach on the sideline. Acting head coach Tyler Marsh just had to decide which combinations of the Aces star-studded roster to call upon, all under the watchful and approving eye of owner Mark Davis looking on from his baseline seat.

RELATED: Becky Hammon, Las Vegas Aces Coach, Denies Bullying Player Over Pregnancy

Six Aces players finished in double figures. A’ja Wilson had 13 points and 13 rebound, Chelsea Gray scored 14 points and Alysha Clark added 10 off the bench.

Then there was two-time MVP Candace Parker. In her debut with the Aces, Parker added 12 points, five rebounds and three blocks. It was the trade of Hamby to the Los Angeles Sparks that clear salary cap room for the Aces to add Parker and create a roster that along with New York are the overwhelming favorites to win the league title, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Jewell Loyd led Seattle with 22 points as the Storm began what’s expected to be a rebuild season in the next chapter for the franchise. For the first time since 2002, Sue Bird was no longer part of Seattle’s roster to start the season following her retirement at the end of last season, although she was sitting courtside for Saturday’s game.

Seattle also lost two-time league MVP Breanna Stewart after she departed for New York during free agency and starting wing Gabby Williams was still in Europe, although the Storm are hopeful the restricted free agent could with the hope she’ll rejoin the Storm soon.

That left Loyd as the only core piece from last season still on the court as a contributor. She struggled badly early, missing her first eight shots and struggled to get clean looks anytime Plum had the defensive assignment. Loyd finished 7 of 25 shooting.

No other Seattle player scored more than the eight points from rookie Jordan Horston.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

WNBA

Caitlin Clark WNBA Debut Indiana Fever Connecticut Sun...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

Caitlin Clark Prepares For WNBA Regular-Season Debut As Fever Take On Connecticut

Caitlin Clark's much anticipated WNBA debut is set for Tuesday night as the Indiana Fever take on the Connecticut Sun.

6 days ago

WNBA-Commissioner-Cathy-Engelbert...

Teresa M. Walker, AP

WNBA To Begin Full-Time Charter Flights This Season, Commissioner Says

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert said that the league will launch a charter program “as soon as we can get planes in places.”

12 days ago

Caitlin Clark WNBA Draft Indiana Fever attendance boom bigger arenas...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

Some WNBA Teams Look For Bigger Arenas When Caitlin Clark, Fever Come To Town

Two teams have moved their games against the Fever to bigger arenas. The numbers Caitlin Clark has generated indicate it's a smart move.

19 days ago

Candace-Parker-WNBA-Las-Vegas-Aces...

Doug Feinberg, AP

WNBA Star Candace Parker Announces Retirement

The three-time WNBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist announced on social media that her career was over after 16 seasons.

22 days ago

alissa-pili-gets-selected-eighth-in-2024-wnba-draft...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Ute Alissa Pili Receives A Special Welcome In Minnesota

Former Utah women's basketball star Alissa Pili is now a pro in the WNBA after the Minnesota Lynx picked her up at No. 8 in the 2024 Draft.

26 days ago

Caitlin-Clark-Iowa-Hawkeyes-NCAA...

DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer

Caitlin Clark’s Early Play In WNBA Will Be Tryout For US Olympic Women’s Roster Spot

Caitlin Clark's early play in WNBA will serve as her tryout for a spot on the U.S. Olympic women's basketball team.

28 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Give-A-Thon

The KSL Sports Zone, KSL 5 TV, FM100.3, 103.5 The Arrow, and KSL NewsRadio have teamed up to raise money for the kids being served by Primary Children’s Care!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and KSLSports.com are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Minus Suspended Coach Becky Hammon, Aces Rout Storm 105-64 To Open Title Defense