Silver Stars-Fever Preview
After wrapping up a road trip in positive fashion, the Indiana Fever are hoping to carry that momentum into a lengthy homestand but have to start it against the league's hottest team.
The San Antonio Silver Stars go for their longest winning streak in nearly four years Thursday night, trying to capture a fifth consecutive victory while ending a three-game slide in Indiana.
The Fever (8-5) have been idle since last Wednesday, when they finished 2-1 on their road swing with an 81-72 win over Chicago. Behind Shavonte Zeallous' season-high 18 points, Indiana earned that victory a day after losing 70-58 in Atlanta.
"We showed we can be a real tough-minded team that's going to be difficult to deal with when it comes playoff time. I like that," coach Lin Dunn told the team's website.
The Fever's next six games - four before the Olympic break - will be at home, where they are 4-1. No team has played fewer home games.
San Antonio hasn't won in Indiana since June 15, 2008, and was swept in last season's two-game series. However, the Silver Stars (8-5) enter this matchup having won four straight and six of seven.
Danielle Adams scored a season-high 24 points off the bench and Becky Hammon added 22 in an 82-81 victory over Phoenix on Tuesday as San Antonio overcame shooting a season-worst 34.6 percent.
"If we're going to be a good team, we've got to find ways (to win) in these games," coach Dan Hughes said. "We have to find a way to win when the ball is not going in the basket and we did today."
Hughes' club will next try to secure the franchise's first five-game win streak since a run of six straight victories Sept. 5-18, 2008, which included the opening game of the playoffs.
Tamika Catchings led the Fever in scoring in both matchups with the Silver Stars last season, averaging 23.5 points. She's been slumping of late, averaging 13.6 points over the last seven games while shooting 31.2 percent - 3 for 15 in her most recent outing.
Indiana fans are expected to get their first look at Karima Christmas, acquired Monday in a deal that sent veteran Roneeka Hodges to the Tulsa Shock.
San Antonio guard Tully Bevilaqua, who played six of her 14 WNBA seasons with the Fever, is slated to appear in Indiana for the first time since announcing Tuesday that she'll retire at the end of the season.