Rookie records, extra A’ja milestones and a recent No. 1

Rookie records, extra A’ja milestones and a recent No. 1

  • Michael Voepel, ESPN.comJul 8, 2024, 09:00 AM ET


      Michael Voepel covers the WNBA, females’s school basketball, and various school sports actions for espnW. Voepel began overlaying females’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Newcomers Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark rewrote file books. MVP front-runner A’ja Wilson hit one more milestone. Upsets landed left and loyal. And the week additionally produced a alternate at No. 1 because the Connecticut Sun moved again to the tip space of ESPN’s WNBA Energy Rankings for the predominant time since early June.

Every WNBA workers won no lower than one sport final week except the struggling Atlanta Dream. The WNBA flee feels as large open as ever. The two-time defending champion Las Vegas Aces seem again heading within the suitable route, but they have masses of competitors — along with the Sun and the Unique York Liberty, both of whom are chasing their franchise’s first WNBA title, and the Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm, programs which would be both searching out for their fifth title.

As Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike mentioned, “I’ve conducted in plenty of seasons, and there is been seasons love this, where any one can beat any one. It be no longer severely shining for me, but it absolutely in actual fact makes for the solely seasons. And I deem it is a reason why all people must be watching.”

On the rookie front, the Chicago Sky‘s Reese living the WNBA file for consecutive double-doubles (13) on Sunday and additionally had her season excessive in scoring (27 points) Friday. On Saturday, the Indiana Fever‘s Clark grew to turn out to be the predominant rookie in league history to secure a triple-double because the Fever upset the predominant-living Liberty.

It wasn’t the solely eyebrow-raising result: Chicago won one in every of its two games at Seattle and the Los Angeles Sparks beat Las Vegas. Fancy Ogwumike mentioned: There are outcomes that surprise us, but nothing that shocks us. There might well be ethical far too noteworthy means leaguewide for any workers to be counted out sport-to-sport.

That mentioned, one participant continues to dominate MVP focus on: Las Vegas’ Wilson, who grew to turn out to be the franchise’s all-time scoring leader (with 4,301 points) Sunday. The Aces are in their seventh season in Las Vegas. Before that, the franchise became in San Antonio for 15 seasons and Utah for six. It became one in every of the long-established WNBA franchises in 1997 in Salt Lake City.

Attributable to proprietor Trace Davis and his management workers, the Aces have performed as neatly as any franchise in any expert sport in connecting its separate histories. Gamers from the Utah Starzz and San Antonio (Silver) Stars are invited to Las Vegas for alumni days. Sophia Young-Malcolm (San Antonio, 2006-15), the participant Wilson passed for the scoring designate, became at Michelob Extremely Arena on Sunday along with several assorted franchise alums.

They had been readily on hand for one more standout Wilson performance: 28 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks in a 104-85 secure over the Dallas Wings. While some issues had been unpredictable within the WNBA this season, Wilson has been money every sport. She is averaging 27.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.7 blocks.

“This city welcomed me in 2018,” Wilson mentioned. “I am grateful to be right here. I even need to constantly give it to other folk who laid down the muse sooner than me. Thanks for passing that torch. We’re going to defend passing it.”

Outdated rankings: Preseason | Would perchance well also 20 | Would perchance well also 27 | June 3 | June 10 | June 17 | June 24 | July 1

1. Connecticut Sun (17-4)

Outdated ranking: 5

This week: vs. NY (July 10), vs. PHO (July 14)

A 3-0 week did the trick for the Sun to leap again to No. 1. They won at Phoenix and at Minnesota, then beat Atlanta at home. DeWanna Bonner, in her 15th WNBA season, had a profession-excessive seven 3-pointers Sunday. Nearly every workers has no lower than one “weird” defeat this season, and for the Sun it is a 78-74 loss to the Dream on June 28. But that is their solely unexpected spin.



Alyssa Thomas’ triple-double helps propel Sun past Lynx

Alyssa Thomas finishes with 13 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds because the Sun defeat the Lynx 78-73.

2. Unique York Liberty (17-4)

Outdated ranking: 2

This week: @ CON (July 10), vs. CHI (July 11), @ CHI (July 13)

The Liberty had been poised to pass again to the Energy Rankings’ high space after beating Minnesota on Tuesday. But then they lost a fourth-quarter lead and the game at Indiana on Saturday. The Liberty had been 10-of-42 from 3-level vary and had been outrebounded by 10 — which signifies they weren’t working the ball inner ample to Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones.

3. Las Vegas Aces (13-7)

Outdated: 3

This week: @ SEA (July 10), @ATL (July 12), @WAS (July 14)

The Aces beat Indiana, Washington and Dallas in Las Vegas, but they fell at Los Angeles. On paper, that is rarely any longer a appropriate loss brooding about the Sparks are 5-16 and in tenth living within the standings. But it became the second sport of a again-to-again, and on the motorway. It additionally went to time past law, so the Aces secure a little bit of leeway. It be their solely loss within the past eight games, and they bounced again to attain a season-excessive 104 points Sunday vs. the Wings.



A’ja Wilson turns into the Aces’ franchise leader in points

A’ja Wilson’s ancient day involves 28 points, 10 rebounds and taking pictures 11-of-22 from the ground within the Aces’ victory over the Wings.

4. Minnesota Lynx (15-6)

Outdated ranking: 1

This week: @ LA (July 9), @SEA (July 12), vs. IND (July 14)

The Lynx went 1-2 final week, however the losses weren’t their very finest whisper. After falling at Unique York on Tuesday, neatly-known particular person forward Napheesa Collier limped off the court docket in a loss to Connecticut on Thursday. She is facing plantar fasciitis, and Minnesota might want to weigh taking part in her within the next four games vs. resting her for the Olympics and the the leisure of the season. With out Collier, the Lynx beat the Mystics on Saturday.



Napheesa Collier exits sport with foot rupture

Napheesa Collier suffers a foot rupture and exits the game within the third quarter of the Lynx’s loss to the Sun.

5. Seattle Storm (14-7)

Outdated ranking: 4

This week: vs. LV (July 10), vs. MIN (July 12), vs. ATL (July 14)

Seattle drops a local after 5 weeks at No. 4, however the Storm are solidly within the tip 5 — a quintet that has separated itself from the assorted seven teams. Seattle went 2-1 final week, beating Dallas and splitting with Chicago. This week ends a 9-sport homestand, and it has been a appropriate stretch for the Storm, who have began to jell as anticipated.



Skylar Diggins-Smith lifts Storm to double-digit lead over Sky

Skylar Diggins-Smith knocks-down a 3-pointer for the length of the closing minute of the game to lengthen the Storm’s lead over the Sky.

6. Indiana Fever (9-13)

Outdated ranking: 6

This week: vs. WAS (July 10), vs. PHO (July 12) @MIN (July 14)

The Fever hung with the Aces until the fourth quarter Tuesday, then fell 88-69 sooner than 20,000-plus at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Again home Saturday sooner than a sellout crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the Fever got their most spectacular secure so far, 83-78 over a Liberty workers that had already beaten them three times this season. Clark’s triple-double: 19 points, 13 assists, 12 rebounds. This week brings Indiana’s first 2024 matchup with the Lynx, the workers closest to Clark’s fatherland of West Des Moines, Iowa.



Caitlin Clark’s ancient triple-double fuels Fever’s comeback secure vs. Liberty

Caitlin Clark places on a dominant displaying along with her first profession triple-double because the Fever reach again to secure 83-78 against the Liberty.

7. Phoenix Mercury (11-10)

Outdated ranking: 7

This week: vs. DAL (July 10), @ IND (July 12), @ CON (July 14)

Phoenix lost at home to Connecticut, then won on the motorway at Dallas and Los Angeles to keep achieve within the Energy Rankings. With Diana Taurasi lacking two games — resting final Monday and with a leg rupture Sunday — Kahleah Copper (mixed 80 points, 17 rebounds for the three games) and Natasha Cloud (60 points, 15 rebounds, 25 assists) carried the Mercury.



Natasha Cloud units profession excessive with 31 points

Natasha Cloud finishes ethical timid of a double-double but units a profession excessive of 31 points for the Mercury in an 84-78 secure over the Sparks.

8. Chicago Sky (8-12)

Outdated ranking: 9

This week: vs. ATL (July 10), @NY (July 11), vs. NY (July 13)

It became a appropriate week for the Sky, a hit at Atlanta and splitting games at Seattle. As spectacular as Reese’s 13-sport double-double run is, guard Chennedy Carter has been on a scoring sprint. She had a mixed 80 points within the three games final week and twice shot over 60%. The Sky’s home sport Saturday vs. the Liberty must scheme a colossal viewers on ABC.



Angel Reese breaks Candace Parker’s double-double file

This bucket presents Angel Reese her thirteenth straight double-double, breaking Candace Parker’s WNBA file over a pair of seasons.

9. Washington Mystics (5-17)

Outdated ranking: 10

This week: @ IND (July 10), vs. LV (July 14)

The Mystics went 1-2 on the motorway final week, a hit at Los Angeles and dropping at Las Vegas and Minnesota. All issues even handed, it wasn’t a low week for a workers that is 5-5 after starting up 0-12. Guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the Mystics in scoring off the bench in all three games, totaling 51 points.

10. Dallas Wings (5-17)

Outdated ranking: 11

This week: @ PHO (July 10), vs. LA (July 13)

It became one more tough week for the Wings, but they got one victory — vs. Atlanta on Friday. But they additionally lost to Seattle, Phoenix and Las Vegas. Assorted gamers moreover All-Broad title guard Arike Ogunbowale are stepping up for Dallas — forward Natasha Howard and guard Odyssey Sims, severely — but wins proceed to be arduous to reach by this season.

11. Atlanta Dream (7-13)

Outdated ranking: 8

This week: @ CHI (July 10), vs. LV (July 12), @ SEA (July 14)

The Dream are sooner than Washington and Dallas within the WNBA standings, but they are barely staying out of the cellar within the Energy Rankings. Atlanta went 0-3 final week and has lost seven of its final eight. Rhyne Howard has been out since June 19 with an ankle rupture. At this level, it is unclear if her look within the Paris Olympics 3×3 match is in jeopardy. Fellow guard Jordin Canada missed the predominant 14 games of the season with a hand rupture, came again for four games, and is out as soon as more with a broken finger.

12. Los Angeles Sparks (5-16)

Outdated ranking: 12

This week: vs. MIN (July 9), @ DAL (July 13)

The Sparks got a colossal secure — beating Las Vegas in time past law on Friday — and appropriate news on the personnel front as forward Azurá Stevens (arm rupture) made her first look of the season Sunday. She conducted 26 minutes and had 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in a loss to Phoenix. That is all ample to have the Sparks respiratory down Atlanta’s neck to pass out of final living within the Energy Rankings. We’ll deem about within the occasion that they might be able to plot it sooner than All-Broad title/Olympic rupture.

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