July 27, 2022
Daily Briefing — July 27, 2022: Aces win Commissioner’s Cup
Sparks announce Liz Cambage contract divorce
Happy hump day! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 69 of the WNBA season has passed, a day that was nice for the Aces and not so much for Liz Cambage. Yesterday’s TDB already covered the initial news of Cambage departing Los Angeles, including some allusion to the fact that she has almost certainly burned her last bridge in the WNBA. Then, Yahoo! Sports’ Chris Haynes detailed the numerous internal conflicts that Cambage has instigated throughout the season. What a mess. But anyway, the Commissioner’s Cup!
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Las Vegas looked like it was back in early season form, riding an explosive first quarter with excellent defensive energy to a double-digit win in the second annual Commissioner’s Cup. Kelsey Plum and Kahleah Copper combined for 20 first-quarter points, the latter accounting for more than half of Chicago’s scoring in the opening frame. The Sky fought hard across the last three quarters, but it ultimately wasn’t enough to overcome the Aces’ blazing start.
Chelsea Gray was named the Commissioner’s Cup MVP.
But first, read:
- The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings situated Cambage’s exit within the larger trend of years of mismanagement in Los Angeles
- Friend Of The Daily Briefing Mark Schindler analyzed why Cambage’s departure is probably a boon for the Sparks’ defense
Los Angeles: Signed off-ball guard Kianna Smith to a seven-day contract, her second with the team. Also, Richard Cohen of Her Hoop Stats reported that Cambage’s buyout was for exactly her remaining prorated salary — i.e. the amount of cap space the Sparks opened up is equal to what a player on a $170,000 salary would earn over the remaining games.
Watch List, Wednesday, July 27
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Tuesday, July 26 Commissioner’s Cup recap
Las Vegas beat Chicago, 93-83. The Aces jumped out to a 25-4 lead, but the Sky got within seven in the late third. Vegas shot 9.5 percentage points better from the field and 22.9 better from three; the Aces notched nine steals and nine blocks; Chicago committed 19 fouls.
Center A’ja Wilson led Vegas with a 17-point, 17-rebound double-double on 7-for-17 FG (1-2 3pt.) with six offensive boards plus two assists, two steals and six blocks against two turnovers; point guard Kelsey Plum had 24 points on 8-for-17 from the field and 6-for-9 from three, six assists and two steals against four turnovers; point guard Chelsea Gray notched 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting (2-4 3pt.), four rebounds and five assists against five turnovers; wing Jackie Young tallied 18 points on 8-for-13 FG, six rebounds and two assists.
The Sky were led by big Candace Parker’s 20 points on 7-for-16 from the field and 3-for-7 from three and 14 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double, plus four assists against two turnovers and four fouls in 34 minutes; wing Kahleah Copper had 18 points on 8-for-18 shooting (0-3 3pt.), eight rebounds (three offensive) and three assists against two turnovers and five fouls in 33 minutes; big Emma Meesseman notched 18 points on 7-for-13 FG (1-4 3pt.), four rebounds and three assists against three turnovers and five fouls in 23 minutes.