Kelsey Plum isn’t buying the idea of a superteam rivalry.
While the New York Liberty and Las Vegas Aces have three more meetings this season, the Plum and the Aces looked every bit the more dominant team in Thursday’s 98-81 win in Las Vegas.
“I say this with all respect, but I think it’s honestly the media (that) tries to make this out to be this crazy matchup,” Plum said after the game. “There’s a lot of really good teams in this league. We approach every game the same way, and we play the same way. We’re going to go out there and compete. It happened to be New York tonight, but for us it doesn’t change who we are.”
Plum led all Aces starters – all of whom scored in double figures – with 18 points. While Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello says the team had a “great game plan” entering the game, it didn’t hold up against what she called a “well-oiled machine.”
“Part of it was because of what they did, how fluid they were,” she said of the Aces. “They scored on us on post-ups and mismatches in our rotations. They’re in the right place all the time. They’re a scary team.”
The Aces and the Liberty both made headlines with big-name free agent signings in the offseason, and both have hovered around the top of the league standings. But the Aces placed themselves firmly at the head of the pack with their latest win.
The 2022 champions are now 14-1, tying the 1998 Houston Comets and the 2016 Los Angeles Sparks for the best start through 15 games in league history. The Liberty sit in third at 10-4.
“I think we play a fun style for the [players] and the fans, as does New York,” Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon said. “Getting up and down — people like to play that way, shooting a lot of 3s. When the ball gets popping and everybody is happy with their teammate’s success, I think that is contagious.”
When all starters score 14+ points while shooting 58% from the field 😮💨@Kelseyplum10: 18 PTS / 3 REB / 8 AST / 58% FG@_ajawilson22: 16 PTS / 3 AST / 66% FG@Candace_Parker:15 PTS / 6 REB / 5 AST / 2 STL / 50% FG / 3-4 3-PM@JackieYoung3 :15 PTS / 5 REB / 6 AST / 54% FG / 3-5… pic.twitter.com/CKsuBPoEj9— Las Vegas Aces (@LVAces) June 30, 2023
When all starters score 14+ points while shooting 58% from the field 😮💨@Kelseyplum10: 18 PTS / 3 REB / 8 AST / 58% FG@_ajawilson22: 16 PTS / 3 AST / 66% FG@Candace_Parker:15 PTS / 6 REB / 5 AST / 2 STL / 50% FG / 3-4 3-PM@JackieYoung3 :15 PTS / 5 REB / 6 AST / 54% FG / 3-5… pic.twitter.com/CKsuBPoEj9