PHOENIX (AP) Candice Dupree and the Phoenix Mercury avenged their only home loss of the season in dominant fashion.
Dupree scored 15 of her 19 points in the first half as the Mercury lengthened their franchise-best winning streak to 10 games with a 90-61 victory over the San Antonio Stars.
”That was more motivation for us,” Dupree said. ”We came out aggressive and we did our work on the defensive end of the floor. We didn’t give them the shots they wanted.”
Winning streaks aside, Diana Taurasi knows exactly what kind of victory her Phoenix Mercury earned on Sunday.
”Today was fun,” the seven-time All-Star said . ”Today was one of those days where during the game you are like – we enjoyed playing today when everyone can have that type of success, play together that way. That was a lot of fun.”
”We did what we were supposed to do,” Dupree said.
”We’re not trying to be one dimensional,” she said. ”We’re not trying to be obvious in what we’re doing. We’re trying to let it come to us in a fashion where everyone gets a touch, where everyone gets a good shot and we’ve been doing a pretty good job of that.”
The Mercury (16-3) used a second half run to take a 20-point lead at the break and led by as much as 31 in the second half in winning their 12th game in the last 13 and have the best record in the league by a game and a half with the all-star break coming at the end of the week.
They also avenged their only loss at home this season.
Danielle Robinson had eight points and Jayne Appel added six points and seven rebounds for San Antonio (11-11), which has lost two straight after winning four of five. Shenise Johnson led San Antonio with 10, six coming in the second half.
”They got a lot of weapons,” said Stars coach Dan Hughes. ”Sometimes to defend one it gives another player a little more space and a little more rhythm, Dupree took advantage of it.”
Dupree had 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first half for Phoenix, which made seven of their last nine shots of the quarter.
”What I was really pleased with was our defense,” Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. ”Our activity, this is a team (San Antonio) that can put points on the board if you allow them, but we made sure every shot was contested, so we executed very well.”
The Stars finished the night 39 percent from the field and just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. San Antonio came into the night as the league’s top 3-point shooting team at 38.5 percent.
”Yeah, we have been shooting the ball really well basically all season, although in the last two games, that hasn’t been the case,” said Robinson. ”I think it has just been a mental thing, something that we can get right back intact with.”
Taurasi had nine points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 24 minutes while Brittney Griner recorded 10 points, six rebounds and a blocked shot. She has 75 blocks on the season, more than twice as many as any other player in the league.
The last Mercury loss was 96-95 at Connecticut on June 12. During the streak, the Mercury have won by an average of 11.8 points.
Phoenix held Stars rookie Kayla McBride, the team’s second-leading scorer, to four points on 1-of-11 shooting.