The San Antonio Stars seemed to have finally found their footing. After a slow start to begin the season, they have their last two games by getting stops when it matters most and getting key buckets. Now it seems injuries may be standing in their way.
Kayla McBride scored 18 points, but the Stars fell 85-78 to the Phoenix Mercury in front of 8,319 fans inside the U.S. Airways Center on Tuesday night.
Phoenix was led by Brittney Griner who finished with 23 points and eight rebounds in her first game of the season. Candice Dupree added 19 points and Leilani Mitchell had 16 for the Mercury (4-5), who snapped their two-game losing streak.
The Mercury shot 79 percent (11-of-14) in the first quarter as Dupree scored 11 points in the opening ten minutes to give Phoenix the 11 point lead going into the second quarter.
Sophia Young-Malcolm added 18 points and Danielle Adams chipped in 12 off the bench for San Antonio, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.
San Antonio was without Jia Perkins (calf), Jayne Appel (mouth injury) and Alex Montgomery (knee).
Phoenix led by as much as 16 points, but the Stars went on a late rally. Danielle Robinson’s layup with 1:42 to go cut the lead to 81-78, but Griner’s putback bucket would put the Mercury up by five to seal their win.
The Stars are now 2-7 on the season and will return to the court on Thursday when they travel to Los Angeles to face the Sparks at 9:30 p.m. inside the Staples Center.