San Antonio has played some of the best teams in the WNBA on the road in recent games. Win a win at Connecticut, coach Dan Hughes believes his Silver Stars have proved they belong among the elite.
Becky Hammon scored 18 points and Sophia Young added 15 as San Antonio beat the Sun 72-59 Thursday night.
It was the Silver Stars' fourth road game in their last five. They lost at defending champion Seattle on Aug. 2, and then at Minnesota, which has the league's best mark, two days later. After beating league-worst Tulsa at home on Saturday, San Antonio lost at Eastern Conference-leading Indiana on Tuesday before beating the second-place Sun.
"We've been on the road so much and this last swing, we've played good teams," Hughes said. "Our goal is to be a winning road team and we're 7-5. We've got a shot."
Danielle Robinson and Jia Perkins added 12 points apiece for the Silver Stars (13-9), who led comfortably for most of the game. San Antonio, which shot 50 percent (30 for 60) from the field, had lost four of its previous five.
"We came off a hard loss at Indiana the other day. We were just battling," said Hammon, who shot 7 for 11. "We have a lot of respect for Connecticut."
Robinson's layup with 6 seconds left in the third gave the Silver Stars their biggest lead at 57-36.
Asjha Jones had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Tan White scored 11 points and Kara Lawson had 10 for Connecticut (14-8), which didn't get closer than 13 in the second half. The Sun shot 35 percent (22 for 63).
"You all saw why San Antonio is pretty good," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "I wish we had made it interesting. San Antonio is unselfish. They move the basketball."
After trailing in the early minutes, the Silver Stars used a 19-4 run to take a 21-10 lead with 2:48 to go in the opening quarter. Hammon, who had 15 points in the first half, capped the spurt with a 3-pointer and a three-point play.
"Getting out to a good start was so important for us," Hughes said. "I thought it set a tone. Defensively, it was one of those games. Connecticut had a tough shooting night. They had some looks. We've had them too playing this much basketball."
Perkins' layup in the opening minute of the second quarter extended the Silver Stars' lead to 27-12.
Hammon's 3 with 3 seconds remaining stretched the advantage to 40-23 lead.
Connecticut missed its last 10 shots of the first half. The Sun shot 23 percent (7-31), setting season low marks for field goals made and field goal percentage in a half.
"We just missed shots," Jones said. "You can't really blame fatigue on that. It just happens sometimes. We started off offensively OK, but we weren't getting stops on defense. And when you're not getting things done on offense, you have to get stops on defense, and we just didn't do that tonight."
Hammon hit another 3 — her final points of the game — to give San Antonio a 19-point lead with 8:17 remaining in the third quarter.