Silver Stars 88, Sparks 81
SAN ANTONIO (AP)
Chamique Holdsclaw scored 19 points in her Silver Stars debut, and San Antonio held off the Los Angeles Sparks 88-81 on Saturday night.
Holdsclaw, playing in her first WNBA game since injuring a knee against the Silver Stars on Aug. 20, 2009, while with the Atlanta Dream, scored San Antonio's first points 2 1/2 minutes in on a putback after a missed 3-point attempt by Sophia Young.
``At shootaround, coach (Sandy Brondello) told me she was just going to throw me in there and I would start, and asked me if I was ready,'' said Holdsclaw, who played 30 minutes, 32 seconds. ``What it comes down to is, basketball is basketball, and I've played enough that I understand spacing and execution, and I just went out there and tried to play my game and add another dimension.''
In the fourth quarter, with San Antonio (2-1) hanging on after Los Angeles had briefly taken the lead, Holdsclaw made an acrobatic save of a loose ball in front of the Sparks' bench. She threw the ball down court to Young, who made a layup that put the Silver Stars up by six.
``That was a big hustle play on her part,'' said Young, who scored 15 points. ``When I saw it, I thought she was going to throw it to Becky (Hammon), and then I saw her throw it up. And I was like, 'I can get this,' but I had to look back to make sure Candace (Parker) couldn't block it.''
Holdsclaw joined the Silver Stars on Friday after being waived on Wednesday by Atlanta. Holdsclaw hadn't reported to the Dream and had requested a trade.
``It changes everything because it makes our job so much easier,'' said Hammon, who scored nine of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. ``Now, you don't know who is going to get it and make a play, because we have so many different playmakers.''
Michelle Snow scored six points and Holdsclaw added four during the Silver Stars' 12-0 run in the second quarter after Los Angeles tied it at 26-26 on Betty Lennox's 3-pointer.
Snow finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
DeLisha Milton-Jones led the Sparks (0-3) with 20 points and Candace Parker had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Sparks, down by 13 early in the second half, regained the lead for the first time since the game's opening possession when Parker hit a driving layup early in the fourth to make it 65-64.
``I think we took a minute to wake up, and that was tough for us,'' Parker said. ``I feel that we needed to play aggressive from the start, and we waited awhile to execute. They executed down the stretch and we didn't. That's been the story of our last three games.''