Silver Stars-Sparks Preview
The Los Angeles Sparks have put together an impressive regular-season home winning streak since a loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars last year.
Given San Antonio's recent struggles, it doesn't appear to pose much of a threat for another road victory Saturday afternoon.
Los Angeles (7-4) won its 17th straight regular-season game at Staples Center with a 97-89 victory over New York on Thursday, as Kristi Toliver tied her career high with 29 points.
She went 12 of 17 from the field after attempting 18 shots in her previous two games combined.
''The past week my coaches have really gotten on me about having the green light and really shooting the ball,'' Toliver said. ''Just be myself, be aggressive offensively and score the ball. I just tried to do what was asked and what naturally comes.''
While the Sparks are unbeaten at home, they remain the WNBA's only winless road team.
''There's certainly a comfort level,'' coach Carol Ross said about playing at home. ''We got to make sure we don't get too comfortable.''
Candace Parker, who added 20 points Thursday, said the team needs to refocus after concluding a three-game homestand Saturday, as it heads out for two straight road games against Tulsa and Phoenix.
''When we come into a home game, we expect to win,'' Parker said. ''On the road we talk ourselves into hope. It's two different teams for sure.''
Los Angeles' last home loss in the regular season was a 91-71 defeat to San Antonio on June 24, 2012, though the struggling Silver Stars likely will have a much more difficult time ending the streak.
San Antonio (3-7) has lost five of six after falling 93-67 to Atlanta on Sunday. Jia Perkins scored 19 points, though she was only one of eight players healthy enough to dress.
DeLisha Milton-Jones (leg) and Shenise Johnson (knee) each suffered injuries in practice and weren't able to play. Becky Hammon (broken right finger) and Sophia Young (torn ACL) have yet to play this season, and center Jayne Appel has been sidelined since June 11 after suffering a concussion.
''We're banged up,'' coach Dan Hughes said.
Despite the injuries, San Antonio did get the best of Los Angeles earlier this season. Johnson scored 19 points and Danielle Robinson had 18 to help overcome 27 points and 20 boards from Parker in an 83-78 win June 1.
Johnson and Milton-Jones, who spent the previous five and 11 of her first 14 seasons with the Sparks, could return from their injuries in time for Saturday's contest.