Silver Stars rally past Mercury

SAN ANTONIO(AP) Belinda Snell came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and had four steals and the San Antonio Silver Stars scored the game's final eight points for a 91-87 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night.

Becky Hammon, who returned to San Antonio after playing for the Russian national team on Saturday in the European Championships final in Latvia, added 19 points after shooting 1 for 7 in the first half.

''I was happy to get out there and have a strong game against Phoenix,'' said Snell, who played for the Mercury last year. ''I was more relaxed and felt the game come to me. I was able to make some shots tonight, which was good to see.''

The Mercury, who did not score in the final 2:43, were led by 26 points from Cappie Pondexter and 22 from Diana Taurasi.

''It was the seven turnovers in the fourth quarter,'' Mercury coach Corey Gaines said. ''And those offensive rebounds they got, maybe like four or five in the last two minutes, that gave them a second shot.''

The Silver Stars (2-3) avoided their worst start since going 0-5 in 2005 and their first three-game losing streak in two seasons.

Phoenix (5-3) has lost two straight.

The Mercury led 87-83 after Taurasi made 1 of 2 free throws with 2:43 remaining.

Hammon hit a 3-pointer to pull San Antonio within 87-86 with 1:55 to go. The Silver Stars went ahead on Sophia Young's free throw with 51 seconds left.

Snell, who was 7 of 11 shooting, added two free throws in the final 1:47.

''She lit us up,'' Pondexter said. ''I didn't expect her to give any less than she did.''

In addition to Hammon, veteran guard Vickie Johnson joined the Silver Stars after missing the past two games because of a death in the family.

The Silver Stars were playing without reserve guard Shanna Crossley, who had to leave Friday night's loss in New York with a knee injury. Crossley has a torn meniscus in her left knee and is expected to miss three to four weeks.

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