PHOENIX- The San Antonio Silver Stars entered Friday’s game averaging a WNBA-low 73.7 points per game and left it with a 108-105 come-from-behind victory over the defending champions.
Every Silver Stars (4-6) starter scored in double figures, led by Sophia Young’s 25 – in addition to 10 rebounds.
“We’ve got numbers, we just want to attack,” Silver Stars coach Sandy Brondello said. “There’s other times we just want to play half court.”
Meanwhile, Diana Taurasi had a masterful game for the Mercury (5-6), scoring a season-high 39, going 5-for-10 from three-point range and 12-for-15 from the line, while grabbing seven boards and passing seven assists.
Candice Dupree was also strong for Phoenix, with a double-double of 19 and 11. Penny Taylor scored 22 but left in the third quarter with an ankle sprain.
After Taurasi hit a jumper to cut San Antonio’s lead to 106-105 with 1:07 left, the Mercury found the ball again in the final half minute. Dupree swooped the rebound from Taurasi’s three-point attempt and passed it back to her. After a timeout, Taurasi was called for a loose-ball foul, and Young made two free throws to increase the lead to three, as Taurasi missed at the buzzer.
“The game went down to a free throw,” Mercury coach Corey Gaines said. “It hurts us. In that type of game we need to get to the line more than the other team.”
The Mercury was only 77.4 percent from the line, compared to the Silver Stars’ 85.3 percent. San Antonio also shot six percent better from distance than Phoenix and eight percent from the field.
Gaines said his plan for the final shot went well because the team had two looks to the basket.
Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon scored 21, with 10 assists, and hit two crucial threes in the closing period as the team erased a 68-53 deficit.
“People did a great job finishing shots,” Hammon said. “We’re capable of doing that. Sophia was great tonight, but we don’t have a player like Diana.”
Chamique Holdsclaw scored 18, her former Tennessee teammate Michelle Snow had 16 (seven rebounds) and Edwige Lawson-Wade 10 for San Antonio.
DeWanna Bonner was strong against Snow in the paint, collecting nine rebounds for Phoenix.
In the first quarter, Dupree missed a put back to end her streak of 14-consecutive made field goals. Tammy Sutton-Brown holds the WNBA record with 15 in 2002.
The Mercury’s next game is at 3 p.m. Sunday at US Airways Center versus the Connecticut Sun, which will air on NBATV.