The Las Vegas Aces sure know how to follow up a championship.
Last year’s WNBA title winners broke the league’s regular season wins record with their 30th victory of the season on Thursday, a 16-point comeback against the Chicago Sky. The Aces’ record sits at 30-4 with six games remaining in the season.
The previous record-holders were the 2014 Phoenix Mercury, who went 29-5 while being led by Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Candice Dupree. WNBA schedules have since expanded, with teams playing a record 40 games starting this season.
Jackie Young led the way on Thursday, posting 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 10 rebounds and five assists. A’ja Wilson and Kelsey Plum both had double-doubles, while Kelsey Plum was right behind Young with 23 points.
The Aces, who added former MVP Candace Parker to a group that went 26-10 last season, have looked like the class of the WNBA all season outside of a couple rough games against a fellow superteam, the New York Liberty. They have had to make do without Parker since early July due to a foot injury, but the likes of Wilson, Gray, Plum and Young have been as hard a problem as ever.
Vegas’ dominance shows up and down the stats sheet. They entered Thursday leading the WNBA in both offensive rating (115.6) and defensive rating (98.8), with their big four all averaging at least 15.0 points per game. 19 of their 30 wins have been by double digits and 12 of them have been by more than 20 points. The lead the league in field goal percentage (49.0), 3-point (38.3) and turnover percentage (11.1).
The 26-7 Liberty have given the Aces trouble, yes, splitting the season series 2-2 so far (counting the Commissioner’s Cup final) with two one-sided wins in New York’s favor, but Las Vegas remains the odds-on favorite to repeat for a title. BetMGM currently has them as -250 favorites to win the Finals.
The WNBA playoffs are scheduled to begin on Sept. 13, but the Aces still have six chances to future-proof what was already a mighty impressive record.