Even by A'ja Wilson's high standards, she had a game worth remembering.
The Las Vegas Aces' star center scored a career-high 40 points Friday night and added 12 rebounds in her team's 19th straight home win, a 113-89 pummeling of Washington.
What can Wilson do for an encore after the 11th 40-10 game in WNBA history? The Atlanta Dream are the team tasked with keeping her from going off again when the squads meet on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Wilson scored a career-high 24 points in the first half and just kept converting, hitting 17 of 25 attempts from the field. It matched Kelsey Plum's 40-point effort last month at Minnesota for the franchise record.
"My teammates were finding me at my spots, and I was just trying to make an impact," Wilson said. "I'm surrounded by great players and they allow me to operate in my space, and I just wanted to be productive for them."
Mission accomplished. In the two games since going only 2 of 14 in a 38-point loss at New York on Aug. 6, Wilson is averaging 34 points and 13 rebounds. It's not a coincidence that the Aces (26-3) have averaged 108.5 points per game in those one-sided wins.
Meanwhile, Atlanta (15-15) comes into town after losing the front end of a back-to-back, an 85-74 decision Saturday in Los Angeles. The Dream led 45-38 at halftime but were outscored by 18 points in the second half, including 24-11 in a decisive third quarter.
Poor shooting hurt Atlanta during its fourth loss in five games. The Dream canned just 40 percent from the field, including 4 of 23 from the 3-point line. Leading scorers Rhyne Howard and Allisha Gray combined to make only 7 of 20 attempts on Saturday.
"We just have to take it one day at a time and make sure that we're very consistent with what we bring to each game," said forward Nia Coffey.
Las Vegas has a 2-0 lead in the season series, last thumping Atlanta 93-72 on Aug. 1 at home.
—Field Level Media