Aces-Storm Preview

The Associated Press

Two of the WNBA's hottest teams are set to face off when the Seattle Storm host the league-leading Las Vegas Aces on Friday night in the first of their two meetings over a five-day span.

Las Vegas (11-5) has won five in a row, the franchise's longest winning run since a 12-gamer in 2012 when it was based in San Antonio. Seattle (11-8), meanwhile, looks to extend its season-high winning streak to four games.

The Aces have not played since winning 85-81 at Washington on Saturday. A'ja Wilson and Sydney Colson each scored 17 points as Vegas overcame a 15-point, first-quarter hole. Kayla McBride scored 16 and Liz Cambage added 13 points with nine rebounds as the Aces held a Mystics club minus injured star Elena Delle Donne to 38.9 percent shooting and owned a 41-33 advantage on the glass.

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"This was good for us, make a statement for ourselves," Colson, who averages just 3.9 points, said as posted on the Aces' official Facebook page. "We'll take this momentum and go back home."

Vegas has had time to rest and work out at home before closing its stretch of four consecutive road contests that could result in a sweep. The Aces, who got 14 points and 13 boards from Cambage in a 60-56 home win over Seattle on June 25, will host the Storm on Tuesday. Las Vegas does play Minnesota in between on Sunday.

Seattle has not allowed the recent allegations of abuse against leading scorer Natasha Howard (18.2 points per game) to overshadow its cause. In a statement, the All-Star forward denied she physically abused and threatened her wife after a Twitter video from March recently surfaced.

"The allegations that have been made against me are very serious. I deny them," the statement read.

The off-court distraction did not keep Howard from dropping a career-high 33 points Wednesday as the Storm made 12 3-pointers and scored the final 10 points of a 90-79 victory at Minnesota. Sami Whitcomb hit five of those 3s and finished with 15 points and eight assists for Seattle, which has won its last three by an average margin of 11.3 points.

Howard had 14 points with 12 rebounds last month against Las Vegas. However, the Storm shot 30.1 percent and committed 16 turnovers in the defeat.

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