Smith scores 31 to lead Detroit over San Antonio

AUBURN HILLS, Mich.(AP) The Detroit Shock aren't giving up on the season quite yet.

The defending WNBA champs beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 99-84 Sunday night - their second win in as many nights as they struggle to make the playoffs.

"We've dug ourselves a hole, and we've got a lot of work to do if we even want to sniff the playoffs,'' said Katie Smith, who led Detroit with a season-high 31 points. "We're going to try to at least make it exciting.''

Smith also led the Shock with 17 points in Saturday's win at Chicago. Detroit (11-14) is a game behind Chicago and Washington for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.

"This was a big weekend, because we got two wins that we desperately needed,'' Shock coach Rick Mahorn said. "Katie has been a horse for us, and she's given us a huge lift in the last two days.''

San Antonio (11-16), which was swept by Detroit in last year's WNBA finals, dropped its third straight and trails Minnesota by a game for the final Western Conference spot.

"We have several home games coming up, and we've got to find some traction,'' San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "It's going to be a real horse race.''

Alexis Hornbuckle added 14 points for Detroit. Sophia Young led San Antonio with 19 points and Ann Wauters scored 18.

"This is really tough, but with seven games left, we've got to look forward,'' Wauters said. "We have to find a way to play better basketball with each other.''

Becky Hammon picked up two fouls in the first three minutes and finished with 14 points.

"When they get Young, Wauters and Hammon all going, they are tough to stop, so it was big to get Becky in foul trouble early,'' Mahorn said. "Taj McWilliams set the tone defensively with her performance against Young.''

The Shock led 45-36 at the half, with help from Smith's 15 points, and expanded the lead to 16 midway through the third quarter.

"We traumatized San Antonio last year in the finals, and we took it upon ourselves to play that hard for the entire game tonight,'' said McWilliams, who reached 4,000 points. "This was extremely important for our push for the playoffs.''

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