Liz Cambage came out swinging on Sunday in the No. 4-seeded Las Vegas Aces’ Game 3 matchup against the No. 1 Washington Mystics, leading the Aces to a 92-75 win at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to force a Game 4 on Tuesday night.
Cambage missed just three shots in the contest, shooting 12-of-15 from the field, while tying her season high with 28 points. Washington simply couldn’t stop her.
After the dominant performance, Cambage took a shot at the Mystics in her postgame interview with ESPN.
“I just kept settling inside,” Cambage said on ESPN. “They have small forwards guarding me. If they can’t handle it, get in the weight room or get out of the post.”
That “weight room” comment has since sparked a fire under the Mystics, who have dubbed themselves the “weight room crew.” Natasha Cloud and Myisha Hines-Allen even posted a video of them doing pushups on their Instagram stories with the caption, “We’ll show you the weight room.”
first, myisha hynes-allen and natasha cloud did pushups pic.twitter.com/fcXnYcecF0— Matt Ellentuck (@mellentuck) September 23, 2019
“I’m the petty one,” Cloud said, via the Washington Post. “I don’t really get into the trash talk, but when it comes to protecting my teammates and having my teammates’ back, I’m the petty one with the loud mouth.”
More from Mystics’ Natasha Cloud on Aces’ Liz Cambage’s “weight room” comments: “When it comes to protecting my teammates, I’m the petty one with the loud mouth. You might see me do some push-ups on the court tomorrow. I’ll take my undersized forward any day of the week.” pic.twitter.com/lyWYPZJRQN— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 23, 2019
Aces coach Bill Laimbeer, though, backed his star on Monday.
“I think [Cambage] is correct,” Laimbeer said, via the Washington Post. “I mean, she’s big, she’s tall, she’s the strongest player on the inside in there. Why are people complaining? That’s who she is. That’s why we got her. Why do you complain about somebody whose big and strong?
“They can’t guard her one-on-one. She overpowers people. OK, that’s basketball. Why would somebody complain about that?”
Aces coach Bill Laimbeer on Liz Cambage’s “weight room” comments about Mystics: “She’s correct. She’s big. She’s tall. She’s the biggest player on the inside. Why are people complaining? If you can’t guard her one on one and she overpowers you, okay, that’s basketball.” pic.twitter.com/LMbUtPWWHd— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 23, 2019
The Mystics will attempt to close out the series on Tuesday night in Las Vegas to reach the WNBA Finals. Based on Cloud and the rest of the team’s reaction to Cambage’s comments, it sounds like they’re more than ready to hold their own on the court.
And even though she was the one who made the comments, Cambage is completely immune to the newfound “trash talk” in the series.
“I’m not on social media, so I haven’t even seen what they’re doing, but damn. If one sentence is going to get in people’s heads like that, I don’t know,” Cambage said, via the Washington Post. “I’m in your head, and I’m not even stressed about it.”
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