Storm goes for 5th in row vs. Aces

The Seattle Storm defeated the previously unbeaten Washington Mystics on Tuesday night.

Now they’ll have to guard against a letdown against the winless Las Vegas Aces.

The Storm (4-1), who have won four straight games, play host to the Aces (0-3) on Thursday night at KeyArena in Seattle.

It will be a rematch of Sunday’s game at Mandalay Bay Events Center. The Storm won 105-98, spoiling the Aces’ first home game in Las Vegas after moving from San Antonio.

Seattle’s Breanna Stewart scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds, Natasha Howard equaled a career high with 21 points and Jewell Loyd added 20 points and nine assists in Sunday’s victory.

No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick A’ja Wilson led Las Vegas with 27 points and eight rebounds.

Wilson said her team in undaunted by its slow start.

“I think the sky is the limit for this team,” Wilson said. “This is our building year. We have a new coach, a new location, new everything. We are writing our new book.”

Thursday’s game will be the fifth for the Storm in nine days.

“It’s tough, but it’s what we do and it’s our job to be prepared every game and go out there and compete,” said Loyd, who has scored 20 or more points in each of the past four games and is second in the WNBA in scoring at 23.0 points per game.

As for playing Las Vegas again?

“We have film. We’re going to watch our game and watch their tendencies,” Loyd said. “Really just approach this game how we approach every game, go to our game plan, execute, worry about us. We can’t always be concerned about other teams. If we’re doing what we need to do on the offensive end and the defensive end, we’ll be alright.”

The Aces had guards Kayla McBride and Kelsey Plum in the lineup for the first time Sunday after they finished their seasons overseas in Turkey.

“I know we are young and some of us just got here and are just learning the offense,” said Plum, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft out of the University of Washington. “But once we have some time, I know we are going to be a better team.”

Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said he was proud of his team for nearly overcoming a 19-point deficit against Seattle.

“We are learning. I keep preaching, that we have to learn first,” Laimbeer said. “How long a learning experience this is going to be, I don’t know. We are making progress.”