San Antonio led by four at halftime before Becky Hammon’s three-point play early in the third pushed lead to 45-35 lead. The Silver Stars scored six consecutive points to extend the advantage to 61-49 heading to the fourth and led by 21 midway through the final period.
“It was just another team effort,” San Antonio’s Becky Hammon said. “Everybody came in and contributed. We had that little burst at the end where we could create separation. They’re a good team and we knew that they would push back at us. Luckily, we were able to sustain it and we really got to play our defense, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said he isn’t paying attention to the team’s winning streak, instead focusing on how well the team is playing heading into the Olympic break after opening 2-4.
“I don’t even know how many games we’ve won in a row to be honest,” he said. “I don’t care. What I do see is people starting to understand how to play with each other and getting their roles down. … We’ve been able to understand how important our bench is and how we play together. We feel like we’re playing good basketball.”
Shay Murphy scored 20 points and Tamera Young had 18 to lead Chicago (8-8), which has lost three straight.
After winning seven of the first eight games, Chicago has lost seven of the last eight since losing star guard Epiphanny Prince to broken bone in her right foot on June 16.
“We’re not a very good basketball team right now, and that’s on me. I take that responsibility, and we’ll figure it out,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “Individuals need to look in the mirror, try to improve themselves, and not have the same thing happen over and over again. … Read the scouting report, if she’s not a shooter, back up, don’t get into her, let her drive.”
Sylvia Fowles and Swin Cash, set to play for the U.S. at the London Olympics, combined for 14 points on 4-for-19 shooting. Fowles had six points, ending a streak of 83 consecutive games in double digits.
“I wasn’t productive on the inside, didn’t really do much on the boards. Kind of like I was non-existent,” said Fowles, who grabbed seven rebounds— nearly six below her league-leading average. “I felt like my teammates did a great job at trying to stay in the game and be productive. We got good looks, we just didn’t stop the ball in transition as much. Putting them to the line really hurt us.”
San Antonio never trailed and scored 31 points off 20 turnovers by the Sky. The Silver Stars shot 42 percent (28 for 67) from the field and 15 for 19 (79 percent) on free throws.
The Silver Stars stretched the margin to 21 points on Perkins’ 3 midway through the final period before the Sky closed with a 14-2 spurt over the final 3:50.
San Antonio scored six points off Chicago’s five first-quarter turnovers on the way to a 19-15 edge. Sophia Young had six points for the Silver Stars while Tamera Young had six for the Sky.
Murphy had 10 points in the second quarter—including a 3 with 28 seconds left in the period—to pull Chicago to 34-33. However, Johnson made a baseline 3 to give San Antonio a four-point lead at the break.