A'ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces look to continue their roll and post a fifth straight win Tuesday when they face the Indiana Fever.
Wilson was named WNBA Player of the Week on Monday after averaging 25.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in helping the Aces (5-2) sweep all three of their games. She totaled a season-high 31 points Sunday and hit a go-ahead 8-footer with 6.9 seconds left Sunday to lift Las Vegas to a 78-76 win over New York.
"What happened was A'ja Wilson told everybody to jump on her back, and she willed us to a victory," coach Bill Laimbeer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "She made all the right plays and was our scoring machine. We ran a play for her to get the ball, she got it and canned it. Game over."
Though the Aces continue to find ways to win, Laimbeer has been vexed by his team's lack of intensity early in games. That happened again Sunday when Las Vegas trailed by seven at halftime, but his bench ' paced by reigning Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby and Jackie Young ' picked up the slack as the duo combined for 28 of the reserves' 33 points.
The veteran coach, though, also singled out Wilson ' who leads the WNBA in scoring at 22.3 points per game -- for praise as a leader, something that has been vital for the Aces in the "wubble" without star center Liz Cambage and veteran guard Angel McCoughtry acclimating to a new team.
"That's something that's special to me because I'm trying so hard to help my teammates and be there for them but produce at the same time," Wilson said. "I knew I couldn't let my teammates down, and that's what pushed me. (I was thinking) we're not losing this game, so I just changed my gear and mentality and went after it."
Indiana (3-4) is looking to get back to .500 after a 91-84 victory over defending champion Washington on Sunday. Kelsey Mitchell scored a season-best 29 points while Teaira McCowan added 15 and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Fever, who used a 16-4 burst late in the first half to open a 13-point halftime lead.
They shot 50 percent overall and 8 for 17 from 3-point range. Tiffany Mitchell pointed to a players-only meeting Saturday as a catalyst for an improved performance on both ends of the court as Indiana held high-scoring Washington to 37.7 percent shooting.
"I think it just came together today," she told IndyStar. "Everyone did their jobs and their assignments. So it's just trying to stay consistent and keep that moving on."
Kelsey Mitchell, who is second in the league in scoring at 20.3 points per contest, has shot 51.7 percent (30 for 58) over the last four games while averaging 22.8 points in that span. McCowan has recorded back-to-back double-doubles after doing so just once in Indiana's first five contests.