Mercury-Silver Stars Preview
Becky Hammon and the San Antonio Silver Stars are taking advantage of some fast starts.
The Silver Stars will go for their sixth straight home win as they take on the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night.
San Antonio lost four of its first six games, but things seem to be clicking now. The Silver Stars (7-5) have won three in a row and five of six, including a 93-84 victory over defending champion Minnesota on Sunday.
Hammon had 23 points and eight assists while Sophia Young added 22 points and 10 rebounds. San Antonio went 13 of 25 from 3-point range, with Hammon connecting on 7 of 13.
The Silver Stars, one game behind Los Angeles for second place in the Western Conference, haven't won four straight since opening the 2011 season 4-0. Young is averaging 21.7 points during this three-game streak.
After struggling to open games earlier in the season, San Antonio has been much more effective lately in the first quarter. The Silver Stars haven't trailed during any of their last three games after leading by an average of 10.0 points entering the second period.
Over the first six games, San Antonio never went into the second quarter with a lead.
"Right now we're all on the same wavelength," forward Shameka Christon said. "We come out with a lot of energy, and obviously that's to our advantage."
Sunday's victory also was the Silver Stars' fifth straight at home. They've scored 95.0 points per game in the last three, including 21.3 from Hammon - nearly six above her season average.
Phoenix (4-10) already knows how difficult playing in San Antonio - and against Hammon - can be. Hammon scored a season-high 30 points, hitting 7 of 9 from beyond the arc, in an 85-66 home win over the Mercury on June 1.
The Silver Stars never trailed in that game and will try to get out quickly again as they meet a Phoenix team which is closing a stretch of four road games in one week.
The Mercury failed again to win back-to-back games for the first time this season with a 90-77 loss at Washington on Sunday. They had defeated Chicago 84-81 on Friday.
Phoenix, allowing a league-worst 87.2 points per game, has given up at least 90 in three of the last four.
Candice Dupree (left knee contusion) sat out a fifth straight game for the Mercury, who also were without Diana Taurasi (hip flexor) and Penny Taylor (torn ACL).
"Ultimately, I'm just happy that we play hard no matter what the score is," Charde Houston told the Mercury's official website after scoring a season-high 26 points Sunday.
"We played hard tonight and we know things will turn around for us."
The Mercury have dropped three straight in San Antonio.