Katie Smith
Jessica Hill/AP Photo

Five days after they were the victims of the New York Liberty’s first win, the Las Vegas Aces exacted revenge in one-sided fashion.

Geoff Magliocchetti

New York Liberty head coach Katie Smith referred to Friday’s visit to Mandalay Bay Events Center as a “beehive”. It’s safe to say the Liberty got stung.

The Las Vegas Aces jumped out to an instant lead and never looked back, crushing the Liberty by a 100-65 final. It ends a small Liberty winning streak at two games. New York previously topped Las Vegas at home on Sunday afternoon.

Las Vegas (3-3) had not played since that 88-78 defeat. They immediately pounced on the Liberty, as they hit their first nine shots from the field. New York could never truly generate any momentum to start a comeback effort. They shot just 26% in the first half (9-of-35) while Vegas continued their torrid pace to reach 69% (24-of-35) by halftime.

Four of the Aces’ five starters had reached double-figures by the time the half let out. Kelsey Plum led the way with 19, while Kayla McBride was close behind with 18. Eleven came from a perfect night at the free throw line.

Even Tina Charles was not immune to the Liberty’s brutal night. She was kept out of double-figures for the first time this season, limited to six points and no rebounds. Kia Nurse led the Liberty in scoring for the second straight game with 12 points.

The Liberty (2-5) were once again slightly overrun with only ten players dressed. Rebecca Allen missed her second straight game with a hand fracture, as did the European-bound Bria Hartley.

A bittersweet gift presented itself to the Liberty in the form of extended time for reserves. Rookie Han Xu played a season-high 16 minutes, earning six points and two rebounds. Career-best minutes (18) were also earned by Tiffany Bias, who was the second-leading Liberty scorer with nine points. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe played for the first time since June 1 and recorded her first basket of the season.

In another fleeting positive, reserve rebounder Reshanda Gray returned from an in-game leg injury to finish things off. She had a team-best five rebounds and two steals in defeat.

The Liberty and Aces will face off in a rubber match at Westchester County Center on July 7.

This mini-Liberty road trip concludes on Saturday night, as they battle the Los Angeles Sparks (10:00 p.m. ET, NBATV). The teams previously met in White Plains on June 4, where the Sparks escaped with a narrow 78-73 victory.

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