Published July 19, 2011
| Associated Press
LOS ANGELES – Becky Hammon scored 26 points to lead the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 79-69 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Monday night.
Sophia Young had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Jia Perkins added 14 points as the Silver Stars improved to a league-best 5-1 on the road.
San Antonio (9-4) let a 15-point, first-quarter lead dwindle to one in the fourth before holding on to win their second straight following three consecutive losses.
Jantel Lavender and Natasha Lacy scored 14 points each for the Sparks (6-8), while Jenna O'Hea finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
After Lacy's runner in the lane got the Sparks within 61-60, Perkins hit a jumper and Young had a jumper and a steal that led to a layup to put the Silver Stars ahead 67-61 with 6:13 remaining.
The Sparks lost their second straight at home after opening the season 4-0 at Staples Center. They blew a 24-point lead early in the third quarter during Sunday's 89-85 overtime loss to Washington. It was the second-largest comeback in WNBA history.
"You never want to lose at home, you always want to protect your home court," Lacy said. "We have to get more victories wherever we play."
Hammon broke out of a mini-slump by hitting 8 of 15 from the field including going 4 of 8 from 3-point range. She leads San Antonio in scoring with a 16.3 average but had just 10 points on 4-of-24 shooting in her last two outings.
Hammon is hoping to be named an All-Star for the seventh time when the league announces reserves Tuesday for the July 23 game at AT&T Center in San Antonio.
"It would be great," Hammon said. "I know we are going to have a great crowd, our city and fans are really excited about it. To be a part of it, obviously, is a huge honor."
Los Angeles starters combined for only 15 points, with new coach Joe Bryant giving heavy minutes to the reserves as he continues to mix-and-match his rotations. Tina Thompson, the WNBA's career scoring leader with 6,546 points, was held without a point for the first time in 413 regular-season games.
"Not that I know of," Thompson said. "And I don't think I ever played less than five minutes either."
After Ebony Hoffman scored the game's first basket for the Sparks' lone lead, the Silver Stars followed with 15 straight points. Hammon hit a 3-pointer and a layup in the run for the 15-2 lead midway through the quarter.
The Sparks, who missed 10 of their first 11 shots, snapped a 4:47 scoring drought on Ebony Hoffman's free throw. Trailing by 10 points at halftime, they trimmed the deficit to 45-41 when O'Hea buried a 3-pointer from the corner.
Another 3-pointer from O'Hea capped a 10-3 run to close the quarter as Los Angeles made it 57-55 heading into the fourth.