Mystics-Silver Stars Preview
Not much has gone well for the San Antonio Silver Stars this season, but they proved in their most recent contest how well they can play when on top of their game.
The Washington Mystics certainly wish they could play at that level more consistently.
San Antonio seeks a fifth straight victory over Washington when the teams meet Friday night in Texas.
Battling a plethora of injuries - including season-ending ACL tears to Becky Hammon and Sophia Young - the Silver Stars (4-8) have languished near the bottom of the Western Conference while trying to get on track.
But after dropping three straight and seven of its previous eight, San Antonio set a season best for points and beat Phoenix 88-80 on Wednesday. Danielle Adams came off the bench to score a team-high 19 points while helping the Silver Stars score 44 points in the paint.
"We've been getting the ball to our post and hoping we can get some cut action and score off of that," Adams said.
Coach Dan Hughes was more than pleased with the effort as his club shot 53.0 percent from the field. DeLisha Milton-Jones added 16 points while Jayne Appel hit all five of her field-goal attempts.
"To be honest, if you've got six players in double figures you're probably going to have a good day,'' said Hughes, whose team also forced 20 turnovers. "We shot the ball well so it was just one of those games that fell our way.''
That's been the case in each of the last four meetings with Washington, which last beat San Antonio on Aug. 17, 2010 - its only win in the last seven matchups.
The Mystics (6-7) had won two straight to surpass last season's win total, but they fell 89-85 to Chicago on Wednesday despite battling back from a 14-point second-half deficit to even the score with 44 seconds left.
Crystal Langhorne scored 18 points and Ivory Latta added 17 for Washington, which fell to 2-5 on the road.
"It is frustrating,'' said Latta, who averaged just 11.0 points over her previous five games. "You fight back so hard and fall short.''
Inconsistency has been an issue for the Mystics. They won three straight from June 7-16 before allowing an average of 90.4 points during a five-game skid.
They then held Tulsa and Seattle to 61 and 59 points, respectively, before Wednesday's defeat.
Washington's 75-72 loss to San Antonio on Aug. 21 began a 13-game losing streak to end the 2012 season. Langhorne finished with 17 points in that contest while Danielle Robinson had 16 for the Silver Stars.
The teams will meet again Tuesday in the nation's capital in the Mystics' next game. San Antonio will first visit Connecticut on Sunday.