Silver Stars Eliminate Comets from Playoff Race

San Antonio 63, Houston 60

SAN ANTONIO, Aug. 11 (AP) -- Becky Hammon scored 18 points, including three clutch free throws, to lead the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 63-60 win over the Houston Comets on Saturday night.

Shanna Crossley had 16 points and Sophia Young added 14 as San Antonio (19-11) finished 3-3 on its six-game homestand. The Silver Stars split the four-game season series with Houston after sweeping the Comets last season.

"We found a way to get it done tonight,'' Hammon said. "The defense was really good. We just take what we're doing and keep moving forward.''

Michelle Snow scored 11 points and Tamecka Dixon added 10 to lead Houston (11-20), which was eliminated from playoff contention for the second time in the league's 11-year history. Sancho Lyttle had nine points and 10 rebounds.

"We were just playing not to lose rather than not to win,'' Snow said. "We have to come out and attack no matter what. In a close game, we have to keep on pushing through.''

Vickie Johnson scored two points in her return after missing three games with a strained Achilles'. She had one assist to become the first WNBA player to have 3,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists in a career.

Hammon, who finished 5-for-5 from the line, broke the 14th and final tie of the game with two free throws to give the Silver Stars a 57-55 lead with 2:43 left in the fourth.

San Antonio extended its lead to five, its largest of the game, on Young's three-point play with 2:11 to go.

"It was a hard-fought game,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "Everyone played great and I was pleased with the defensive effort. That was the one constant throughout.''

After Hammon hit two free throws with 11 seconds left to push the Silver Stars' lead to 62-58, Dixon's tip-in nine seconds later cut the Comets' deficit in half.

However, Hammon hit another free throw to seal the win.

"She didn't seem to quit this game,'' Comets coach Karleen Thompson said. "Last time we played in San Antonio, she seemd frustrated and it started to get to her. Tonight, against the same pressure she was poised.''

San Antonio was 11-for-12 from the line, included two by Ruth Riley with 30 seconds left in the second quarter that tied the score at 29 at the break.