After the San Antonio Silver Stars saw the longest winning streak in franchise history come to an end last week, they didn’t have much trouble bouncing back in a more favorable matchup their last time out.
They’re all but certain to get tested again during a visit to Minnesota.
San Antonio seeks a 14th victory in 15 games and tries to inch closer to the WNBA-leading Lynx on Tuesday night.
The Silver Stars (17-6) suddenly find themselves with one of the league’s best records thanks to a 13-1 stretch. San Antonio, which won 12 in a row before getting blown out 101-77 at Los Angeles on Thursday, bounced back two days later and clinched a playoff berth with a 91-71 victory over Tulsa.
“We didn’t play so well against L.A.,” said forward Danielle Adams, who scored 18 points off the bench Saturday, “(but) we had to retune our focus to Tulsa. We came out aggressive. We were acting like we didn’t lose against L.A. That’s how we have to come out every game.”
The Silver Stars outscored the Shock 47-25 in the second and third quarters, allowing some of their best players to rest before Tuesday’s showdown.
“It’s a pretty nice situation when you don’t have to play Becky Hammon and Sophia Young in the fourth quarter, especially in this stretch,” said coach Dan Hughes, whose team sits two games behind Minnesota (19-4) and one back of the second-place Sparks in the Western Conference.
“That’s our fifth game in 10 days. (Sunday) will be the first day we haven’t been on a plane or played a game in 10 days.”
While the Target Center has been a tough venue for visitors, San Antonio nearly erased a 26-point third-quarter deficit before falling 83-79 at Minnesota on June 3. The Silver Stars beat the Lynx 93-84 at home July 1 behind a combined 45 points from Hammon and Young.
“San Antonio is definitely a good team but we’re excited to get back (home) and play in front of our fans,” Minnesota’s Rebekkah Brunson said after scoring 21 points during Saturday’s 84-74 victory at Atlanta. “So we just hope that everybody comes out and gives us that lift as the sixth man.”
The Lynx, 11-1 on their own court and winners of six straight overall, have outscored opponents by an average of 19.0 points in four games since the Olympic break.
“I think that the break gave us an opportunity to rest up a little bit and also get to work on the things that we need to improve on,” Brunson said. “We really took advantage of the break and it’s paying off now.”
Averaging a team-best 17.0 points, Seimone Augustus - who scored a game-high 23 Saturday - has recorded at least 20 three times since the break. She has averaged 11.5, though, in the two games against San Antonio this season.
These teams will meet twice in Texas in September.
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