Mercury unable to overcome Las Vegas Aces in WNBA semifinals rematch

The Phoenix Mercury and Las Vegas Aces nearly mirrored each other in the offseason following last season’s semifinals. 

Gone are head coaches Sandy Brondello and Bill Laimbeer from last season’s teams. Instead, first-time coaches Vanessa Nygaard and Becky Hammon took over the teams in the offseason. Both went into the offseason projected to make another deep run in the playoffs. 

Both teams lost its centers over the offseason with Liz Cambage opting to sign with the Los Angeles Sparks over the Aces and Brittney Griner remaining in Russian custody. The makeup of Friday’s game was changed for both in losing size, but the Aces managed to take an edge in rebounding and defense. 

More:Mercury fans look ahead to bittersweet comeback season with Brittney Griner detained

The similarities stopped in the first half when the Aces took over all aspects of the game, attacking the boards with 25 rebounds and shooting with consistency at 60 percent. The Aces maintained stellar play, winning 106-88 in the season opener at Footprint Center.  

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