Stars look to build on momentum against Mystics (Jul 24, 2017)

BY AP • July 24, 2017

The San Antonio Stars have finally hit their stride, winning two of their last three games heading into the WNBA All-Star break and tripling their victory total in a stretch of four days.

The Stars will have to be even better to continue those winning ways when they square off against the Washington Mystics on Tuesday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.

San Antonio's two wins last week came against Indiana, a team that has struggled most of the season. Still, the 85-61 victory over the Fever on Thursday was accomplished without leader scorer Kayla McBride (ankle) and showed that the Stars (3-18) might have turned a corner.

Isabelle Harrison scored 18 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and grabbed nine rebounds in the win over the Fever. Kelsey Plum, the WNBA's top overall pick in the 2017 draft, added a career-high 16 points, besting her previous best of 12 set July 16 at Indiana.

"It felt like it's about time," Plum said. "I think I've been a little hard on myself just with everything that's going on, but you just have to keep pushing, and I'm going to continue to get better."

The Stars had 36 rebounds to 25 for the Fever and racked up 25 assists to 12 for struggling Indiana, which had its lowest point total of the season.

San Antonio seeks back-to-back wins for the first time since July 2015 when it defeated Indiana and Atlanta in consecutive home games.

Washington (12-9) heads to the Alamo City on the heels of a 100-96 overtime win over Atlanta on July 19, a game in which Kristi Toliver scored a season-high 29 points to help the Mystics overcome a 21-point deficit. Washington has lost four its past six games and will be playing on the road for the fifth time in its last six games.

Toliver shot 19 3-pointers and had 23 shots in all, setting a season high in points for a Mystics player. Her seven made 3-pointers tied her career high.

"You can't be afraid of big moments, so when you're in games like this, you can't be shy about taking shots," Mystics coach Mike Thibault said after the win over Atlanta. "Clearly, the message got through to Kristi today."

That game was Washington's second of the season without Tayler Hill, who will miss the rest of the year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. Also out for the win was leading scorer Elena Delle Donne, who has a sprained ankle but could play Tuesday against San Antonio.

"We now need to find out who we are without Tay," Washington guard Natasha Cloud said. "Who we are without Elena, temporarily. Now we have to figure out our whole chemistry again. Adversity is going to show you who you truly are."

San Antonio and Washington played in the second game of the season, with the Mystics rolling to an 89-74 win in the nation's capital. The teams will square off again Aug. 4 in San Antonio.

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