A’ja Wilson spots rare Angel Reese quality as WNBA rookie responds to harsh lesson in best way

A’ja Wilson led the Las Vegas Aces to victory over Chicago Sky and set a WNBA record before praising Angel Reese, who also tied the WNBA rookie double-double record

A’ja Wilson reminded Angel Reese and the Chicago Sky why she’s considered one of the best players in the world, leading the Las Vegas Aces to a 95-83 victory. Despite the two-time MVP’s dominant performance securing the win, Reese still extended her double-rookie double streak, as Wilson had high praises for the rookie.

The rookie duo of Reese and Kamilla Cardoso had their hands full trying to contain Wilson, who put on an offensive masterclass. Wilson took the rookies to school, dragging them out of the paint with her lethal outside shooting, owning the mid-post with silky smooth turnaround jumpers, and showcasing elite footwork for easy buckets in the paint.

With the Aces up 41-35, Wilson pulled a veteran move, pump-faking Cardoso under the basket to glide in for a wide-open layup. Just a few plays earlier, Wilson shook Cardoso again on a dribble handoff, effortlessly sinking a routine turnaround jumper.

Wilson scored 31 against the Sky

Wilson’s offensive arsenal was on full display, scoring 31 points on 10-19 shooting. The Aces center also added six assists, three assists, two blocks, and two steals.

The performance made WNBA history, extending Wilson’s impressive streak of 20-point games. According to most sportsbooks, the Aces star, a Nike athlete, is the odds-on favorite to win this season’s WNBA MVP award.

Her first-half performance in particular was a harsh lesson for Reese. But the Chicago rookie responded in the best way possible with an impressive performance of her own as she grew into the game and impressed Wilson.

“The biggest thing that I see from Angel is just her speed and her want to get the basketball,” said Wilson after the game. “I feel like you don’t see that from a lot of players all the time — that second and third effort to go get the basketball. And she has that in her.”

Reese’s performance was not to be overlooked. She tied the WNBA’s record for consecutive double-doubles, matching Candace Parker’s nine-game streak set in 2015. In the loss to the Aces, the Sky rookie notched 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Cardoso also made her presence felt on the boards, pulling down eight rebounds and showcasing her playmaking skills with three assists.

Cardoso contributed just five points to the Sky’s scoring effort. The team’s offensive charge was spearheaded by Marina Mabrey, who scored 21 points, and Chennedy Carter, who scored 20 points.

Despite the strong performances, the Sky couldn’t overcome Wilson and the Aces, but the impressive efforts of their rookies give fans plenty to be excited about for the future. After the game, Reese and Wilson were spotted sharing a heartfelt embrace, with Wilson seemingly offering advice to the rookie.

Earlier before tip-off, Reese told the media that Wilson was her inspiration. “A’ja has been somebody that’s inspired me, not just on the court, but off the court. As a black woman, her story, being from South Carolina and everything behind that,” said Reese. “I love her shoes. I’m so happy for her; she deserves it. I’m super happy for her. She continues to lead the way in so many different ways.”