LV Aces to complete quake-suspended game
AP Basketball Writer
LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics’ game that was suspended by an earthquake earlier this month will be finished on Aug. 5, the WNBA announced Monday.
The teams will play at T-Mobile Arena instead of the Aces’ normal home at Mandalay Bay because that venue isn’t available.
The original game was on July 5, with Washington leading 51-36 when a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Southern California just before halftime, with the effects felt as far away as Las Vegas and Mexico. After talking it over, WNBA officials suspended the game out of an abundance of caution. NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas also were postponed that night.
Washington will get the ball to start the third quarter.
“It’s a 20-minute game and we need to play it like it’s 0-0. I think that’s the approach we should take,” Mystics coach Mike Thibault said in a phone interview.
Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said he would treat it as a normal game, although his team will have more urgency, given it is down 15 points.
“We may do a few things a little differently,” he said.
Both coaches said they expect the teams to get a normal pregame warmup. Thibault wasn’t sure if the Mystics would have shootaround because they are playing in Phoenix the day before.
“We’ll have our normal game-day routine, watch film and video,” he said. “We’ll do all the same things we do on game day.”
Las Vegas will most likely be missing A’ja Wilson, who has been sidelined with a left ankle sprain. Washington is expected to have Emma Meesseman, who missed the original game because she was playing for Belgium in the EuroBasket Tournament.
“It’s very nice to have Emma, given the number of games we didn’t have her for,” Thibault said.
Washington wasn’t scheduled to play in Las Vegas the rest of the season, making it difficult to find a completion date.
One thing that is unclear is whether the officials will be the same as they were for the original game. They may already be booked in other places at that time and the league doesn’t say who is officiating until the day of the game.
Laimbeer also wasn’t sure what the crowd would be like for the game. Fans who had a ticket to the original game will automatically receive a ticket to the rescheduled one.
July 5 was the first time a WNBA game was suspended mid-game. The NBA’s G League had a game suspended this past season when a leak in the roof in Erie, Pennsylvania, stopped play early in the fourth quarter of the BayHawks’ game against the Long Island Nets. The teams finished that before a regularly scheduled game between the teams at Nassau Coliseum a month later.