WNBA takeaways: Sky’s Angel Reese keeps double-double streak alive; A’ja Wilson has 20-20 game, Aces stay hot

The WNBA took over the sports world Wednesday with five games spread out across the afternoon. The “camp day” games are a long-running tradition and give kids across the country a chance to catch some live action. Now that everything is all wrapped up, here are some key takeaways from an exciting day of basketball. 

Liberty block out Sun, take sole possession of first place

The first game of the day featured the top two teams in the league, and the showdown was just as competitive as everyone expected. Thanks to some late-game heroics by Sabrina Ionescu, the New York Liberty took sole possession of first place with a dramatic victory over the Connecticut Sun, 71-68. 

“Yeah, we knew it was a big game,” said Ionescu, who finished with 21 points, five rebounds and five assists. “Obviously the top teams in the league and we knew we had to come in, early game, come with a lot of intensity and come out here and take it. They weren’t gonna give it to us, we had to take it, and it was a great battle like always.” 

All season long, the Liberty have been the best first-quarter team in the league (plus-20.8 net rating entering Wednesday), and they quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead. The Sun, though, are an elite defensive bunch, and it was no surprise that they were able to grind their way back into the contest. 

By the fourth quarter, it was a back-and-forth game with little scoring and plenty of physicality. The Sun took the lead multiple times, including with 2:11 to play on a layup by DiJonai Carrington. Those would be their last points, as Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart and the Liberty took control down the stretch with some elite defense of their own. 

Ionescu scored to put the Liberty back in front, then Stewart came up with two massive blocks, before another Ionescu bucket pushed the lead up to three. Then, on the final possession, Ionescu blocked Tyasha Harris‘ potential game-tying 3-pointer to secure the win. 

“No 3s, I knew that,” Ionescu said. “Obviously Ty’s a great shooter and we were gonna switch, so happy to get that block. I didn’t want to go to overtime.” 

Clark puts on a show in defeat

Caitlin Clark has grown more and more comfortable in recent weeks, and she put on yet another show Wednesday. It was not enough for the Indiana Fever, though, as their fourth-quarter comeback attempt fell short and they lost to the Washington Mystics, 89-84. 

Clark finished with 29 points five rebounds, 13 assists, five steals and three blocks, tying her career-high in assists in the process. She has now reached double figures in assists in five of her last six outings and has registered four consecutive points-assists double-doubles, which is the second-longest streak ever. 

This was also Clark’s second game this season with at least 25 points and 10 assists. There is only one other such game by a rookie in WNBA history. For the season, Clark is now averaging 7.6 assists per game, which would be the rookie record. 

Reese keeps double-double streak alive … barely 

The Chicago Sky got back in the win column with a 78-69 triumph over the Atlanta Dream, and Rookie of the Year contender Angel Reese extended her historic double-double streak to 14 games in the process — albeit in a somewhat controversial fashion. 

With 25 seconds to play, Reese somehow found herself wide open under the basket and scored a clutch bucket to push the Sky’s lead up to five and essentially end the game. However, that basket only gave her nine points on the day, and as time ticked away a few possessions later it seemed her streak would end. 

The Sky would not let that happen. After a few free throws and another miss by the Dream, the Sky had the ball up by seven with 10 seconds to play. Instead of running out the clock, they fed the ball inside to Reese, who was fouled and sent to the free-throw line. She made both to get to double digits in scoring, much to the delight of the crowd. 

Reese finished with 11 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks in another strong outing, and will maintain her league lead in the rebounding department over A’ja Wilson

Wilson has 20-20 game as Aces continue hot streak

A’ja Wilson didn’t have the most efficient shooting day, but she still reinforced her status as the lead candidate for this season’s MVP award by putting up 24 points, 20 rebounds, three steals and four blocks in the Las Vegas Aces’ 84-79 win over the Seattle Storm

Wilson, who had to leave the game briefly after taking a shot to the nose, is the first player with a 20-20 game this season and the 15th in WNBA history to accomplish the feat. She scored eight of her points in the final four minutes, including two free throws in the closing seconds to ice the game. 

Thanks to Wilson’s big night, the Aces have now won eight of their last nine games — all with Chelsea Gray in the lineup — to surge up the standings. They are now 14-7 on the season, good for fourth place, and their slow start is a distant memory. 

Copper gets her seventh 30-point game

Kahleah Copper had one 30-point performance in 254 games prior to this season. Now, after another brilliant outing against the Dallas Wings, she has seven in 22 games this summer. Copper finished with 32 points, five rebounds and four assists on 12-of-19 from the field as the Mercury cruised to a 100-84 win. 

With her latest scoring binge, Copper moved past A’ja Wilson for the league lead in 30-point games this season and is now five away from matching the all-time record of 12, set by Maya Moore (2014) and Jewell Loyd (2023). With 17 games remaining, Copper has a great chance to get there. 

For the season, Copper is averaging 23 points per game, which is a career-high and good for second in the league. If she keeps up this pace, she will become the 10th player in league history to average at least 23 points per game for an entire season. 

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