The Phoenix Mercury have been red-hot as of late, winning a franchise record nine straight games. On Sunday afternoon the San Antonio Stars felt the burn of the Mercury.
Candace Dupree finished with 19 points as Phoenix cruised to an 90-61 victory over the Stars in front of 9,044 fans inside the U.S. Airways Center.
The Mercury led by as many 31 points and outscored San Antonio 30-16 in the second quarter to take a 52-32 lead into halftime. Erin Phillips added 13 points off the bench, while Penny Taylor and Brittney Griner both chipped in 10 points for Phoenix (16-3), who owns the best record in the league.
San Antonio struggled all game long and could not seem to get things going on either side of the court. The silver and black shot just 17 percent (3-for-17) from beyond the arc and shot 39 percent for the game and allowed Phoenix to shoot 54 percent.
”What I was really pleased with was our defense,” Phoenix head coach Sandy Brondello said. ”Our activity, this is a team (San Antonio) that can put points on the board if you allow them, but we made sure every shot was contested, so we executed very well.”
The Stars had no starters in double-figures and were led by Kayla Alexander’s 11 points off the bench. Shenise Johnson added ten points for San Antonio, who lost their second straight game.
”They got a lot of weapons,” said San Antonio head coach Dan Hughes. ”Sometimes to defend one it gives another player a little more space and a little more rhythm, Dupree took advantage of it.”
The loss combined with the Los Angeles Sparks’ win over the Connecticut Sun earlier Sunday afternoon means that San Antonio is only one game ahead of the Sparks for the third spot in the Western Conference.
The Stars are now 11-11 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday afternoon when they travel to Tulsa to square off against Skylar Diggins and the Shock at 11:30 a.m. inside the BOK Center.
(Quotes via WNBA.com/AP)