AT&T Center — San Antonio Stars guard Becky Hammon looked up at the scoreboard with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter and smiled. Her team had missed 50 shots and were leading by two points, but leaving Diana Taurasi open for the game tying three-pointer proved costly.
The Phoenix Mercury guard kept playing despite having five fouls, including three straight in the fourth quarter. Her shot from beyond the arc would send the game into overtime and from there the Mercury would take control.
Candice Dupree had 26 points, Brittney Griner added 16 points and 18 rebounds as the Mercury rallied to defeat the Stars 91-79 in front of 5,808 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
Taurasi had 19 points and seven assists for Phoenix (5-2), including another three in double overtime to give the Mercury a 89-77 lead. San Antonio would never get within single digits the rest of the game.
“You got six, so when I get five I’m really not that worried, you’ve just got to keep playing,” Taurasi said.
Danielle Robinson had 17 points, Sophia Young-Malcolm added 12 points and Jia Perkins had 11 points for the Stars, who fell below .500 for the second time this season.
“We just didn’t shoot well,” Hammon said after the game. “We shot terrible all game. It wasn’t just fatigue. The ball just wasn’t going in the hole tonight. It happens.”
San Antonio outscored Phoenix 24-18 in the fourth quarter, but the Mercury had the edge in the second overtime 14-2 to seal the win.
“Their effort was good,” Stars head coach Dan Hughes said. “Their play wasn’t always crisp, and offensively we really struggled. “It was one of those games where both teams had chances to win, (and) both teams had chances to lose.”
The Stars shot just 27.8 percent for the game, while Phoenix finished with 43 percent shooting from the field.
“We just didn’t get things done,” Hughes said. “We didn’t shoot the ball well all day. We were relying on a lot of other things to give us an opportunity.”
San Antonio forward/center Danielle Adams injured her left ankle during the second quarter on a drive to the basket, but would return.
“It’s a little sore,” Adams told me following the game. “But I should be all right with a week off.”
The Stars are now 4-5 on the season and will return to the court next Friday when they welcome Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm to the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.
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