Silver Stars silence Storm 90-66SAN ANTONIO (AP) Becky Hammon scored 25 points and the San Antonio Silver Stars beat the Seattle Storm 90-66 on Friday night.
Sophia Young added 19 points, Shameka Christon 13 and Danielle Robinson 10 for San Antonio (19-11).
Tina Thompson and Ann Wauters each had 12 points and Svetlana Abrosimova added 11 for Seattle (13-17). Sue Bird (hip flexor) and Lauren Jackson (strained hamstring) both missed the game with injuries.
The Silver Stars had a season-high 15 steals and outscored Seattle 16-0 on fastbreak points.
``That's what has been missing in that little skid that we had - our defensive presence, our activity level and energy level,'' Hammon said. ``I feel like now we are starting to find our groove again. We're starting to play the way we want to play. It all starts on the defensive end.''
Hammon went 5 for 7 on 3-pointers after going a combined 5 for 21 from long distance in her previous four games.
San Antonio, which had lost three straight at home, had a steal on five of the Storm's first seven possessions. The steals only resulted in a 4-2 lead off layups by Hammon and Christon, but a needed defensive tone was established.
``We wanted to get more aggressive in the passing lanes,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ``We wanted to pressure the ball. We wanted to play to a situation where the turnover feature was more a package than we were playing to. We felt like we were settling a lot to just play position defense and I think we are at our best when we dictate defensively.''
Robinson's 15-foot jumper gave San Antonio a 15-11 lead, but Seattle closed the final four minutes of the first on a 14-5 run. Thompson and Tanisha Wright each made a 3-pointer during the run for a 25-20 lead after the first.
Hammon scored three straight baskets to cut Seattle's lead to 27-26 with 6 minutes left in the first half. Christon's 3-pointer a minute later gave the Silver Stars a 29-27 lead, their first since 15-13.
Christon and Hammon hit consecutive 3-pointers to give San Antonio a 37-31 lead, but Seattle responded with a short jumper by Wauters and a 3-pointer by Shekinna Stricklen.
``They shot the ball well from 3, especially Becky and Christon,'' Seattle coach Brian Agler said. ``They got some second opportunities. They scored off turnovers. They got to the free throw line. They scored 50, almost 60 points in those three areas.''
Holding a 38-36 lead at the half, the Silver Stars increased the edge to double digits in the third quarter.
Hammon's 3-pointer capped an 8-0 run by San Antonio to open the third, prompting a timeout by Agler. Katie Smith hit a 3-pointer out of the timeout to cut the lead to 46-39, but the Silver Stars' lead grew to as many as 12 points in the quarter.
``We just started really bad with the first four minutes, but then we came back,'' Abrosimova said. ``The game is a game of runs, (but) our runs were not as good as theirs.''
Young scored 13 points in the third quarter, going 4 for 4 from the field and 5 for 5 on free throws.
Hammon hit her fifth 3-pointer for an 86-63 lead with 2 minutes left after San Antonio had a rebound on successive 3-point misses by Christon and Hammon.
San Antonio went 6 for 20 in the final quarter, but maintained its lead by outrebounding Seattle 22-13 in the second half and forcing 10 turnovers.
Silver Stars reserve Shenice Johnson scored all nine of her points in the second half and finished with six rebounds and two steals.
``(Coach Hughes) just told me to clear my mind, play your game,'' Johnson said. ``He told me that he has been watching me my whole career and that he has not been satisfied with the way I have been playing since the break. He ripped me to shreds to be honest with you, but tonight I felt like I responded.''