The Seattle Storm fared relatively well without veteran coach Dan Hughes guiding them to start the season. They might be even better with him back on the sideline.
Looking to remain undefeated since Hughes returned from cancer treatment, the visiting Storm try for a season-high third consecutive victory Tuesday night against the Las Vegas Aces.
Seattle (7-4) was a respectable 5-4 minus Hughes, who had surgery to remove a tumor from his digestive tract in the middle of May. He returned Friday, taking the Storm to a resounding 84-62 home win over Los Angeles. Two days later, Seattle did not have it as easy, but pulled out a 65-61 win over Indiana at home.
In the latter, Jewell Loyd (17 points per game) scored 21 and hit the go-ahead bucket with 24.6 second left to ultimately lead Seattle to the win. Loyd has totaled 44 points in the last two games for the Storm, who shot just 38.7 percent, and 5 of 23 from 3-point range Sunday. However, they held the Fever to 34.4-percent shooting and came through down the stretch while outscoring the visitors 17-12 in the final period.
"That's a game where either you find ways to win or find ways to lose. We found a way to win," Hughes said as posted on the Storm's official Facebook page. "Now, we've got to shift gears and take our trip to Vegas and be ready for that."
Tuesday is Seattle's lone road contest amid a nine-game stretch. The Storm won their only visit to Las Vegas while taking two of three against the Aces in 2018.
Vegas (5-4) aims for a second consecutive victory after rolling to an 86-68 home triumph over Dallas on Saturday. Dearica Hamby (10.6 ppg) scored 27 points off the bench, A'ja Wilson added 20 and Liz Cambage had 11 with nine rebounds and six assists against her former team as the Aces shot 53 percent and outscored the Wings 27-10 in the second quarter to bounce back from an ugly 95-72 home loss to Washington on Thursday.
"Better effort on our part (Saturday)," coach Bill Laimbeer told the Aces' official website. "All wins in this league are great wins.
"When we play with (an) energy level, good things happen for us. Then our talent takes over, and we have a fair bit of talent. If we don't play with energy, we're suspect to losing basketball games."
Cambage (14.4 ppg, 6.8 rebounds per game) heads Vegas' bevy of talent and has scored in double-figures in 40 straight games, the longest such run currently in the WNBA. Wilson (15.8 ppg), meanwhile, has totaled 48 points on 20-of-26 shooting in the last two games.