Mystics-Silver Stars Preview
By SANTOSH VENKATARAMAN
(AP) -- The San Antonio Silver Stars made it look easy after the Olympic break as they extended the longest win streak in franchise history.
The Silver Stars play their first home game since the break Tuesday night and look to make it 12 victories in a row as they face the lowly Washington Mystics.
San Antonio (15-5) turned in a complete performance in Sunday's 89-47 win at Phoenix. It marked the Silver Stars' largest margin of victory as they continued their best start in franchise history, surpassing 14-6 beginnings by the Utah Starzz in 2002 and 2008.
Becky Hammon scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half as San Antonio built a 19-point lead at the break. Rookie Shenise Johnson finished with 15 points, Danielle Adams added 13 and nine rebounds and Shameka Christon chipped in 10 points.
It didn't matter that top scorer Sophia Young had a quiet night with seven points on 1-of-6 shooting.
The sixth victory of this run for San Antonio was a 78-73 road win over Washington (5-16) on July 6. Young scored all of her 18 points in the second half and Hammon added 17.
Monique Currie led the Mystics with 15 points.
While San Antonio is 1 1/2 games behind defending champion Minnesota for the league's best record, Washington sits in last place in the Eastern Conference.
The Mystics, however, were buoyed by Sunday's 75-71 overtime home victory over Chicago. Crystal Langhorne had 18 points for Washington, which played for the third time in four days since the break.
"It was obviously a very exciting game and I was very proud of our players, they fought hard, they finished plays and I thought it was a total team effort," coach Trudi Lacey said. "It's a good game to build on."
Matee Ajavon's 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in regulation tied the contest, and Jasmine Thomas added the go-ahead 3 with 16 seconds left in the extra session.
"I think it's a product of all the work that we did during the break," Lacey said. "We did a lot of shooting and a lot of repetitions and they stepped up and knocked the shots down."
Washington is four games behind Chicago for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East, and isn't giving up on the postseason yet.
"Man, this game is so huge for us because we desperately need wins in the second half, as far as playoffs go," Ajavon said. "Every win, every play, every second counts."
Washington lost consecutive road games by an average of 23.5 points prior to Sunday's win.
Updated August 20, 2012