SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Jia Perkins scored 21 points and the San Antonio Silver Stars defeated the Atlanta Dream 91-70 Friday night for a franchise-record ninth straight victory.
San Antonio (13-5) also established the franchise's best start after 18 games.
Becky Hammon added 15 points for the Silver Stars. Sophia Young, Danielle Robinson and Shenice Johnson each had 12.
``I feel like they have the best bench in the WNBA right now and a great point guard (Hammon),' Dream guard Armintie Price said.
Perkins and Johnson sparked San Antonio's bench, which outscored Atlanta's 44-3.
``Wow,' Johnson said when told of the disparity. ``It just goes back to us being a complete team. Our confidence is really, really high. We know that from players one to 11, every time we come off the bench, we're just really, really confident. Coach instills that into us.'
The reserves scored 27 points in the second half, helping the Silver Stars hold a double-digit lead throughout the final quarter.
Sancho Lyttle led Atlanta with 21 points. Tiffany Hayes and Armintie Price had 15 each.
The Silver Stars went 4 minutes without a field goal after Shameka Christon's 16-foot jumper gave them a 44-37 lead early in the second half. Their only points in that span were a pair of free throws by Jayne Appel.
San Antonio led 46-45 partly because of Atlanta's offensive struggles. The Dream had 20 turnovers to offset shooting 46 percent from the field.
``When you are playing a good team you cannot have so many mistakes,' Lyttle said. ``We had a lot of mistakes in the second half and they capitalized on it and they won.'
San Antonio took a 57-52 lead with 3 minutes left in the third when Perkins hit a 3-pointer on an assist from Young, who jumped out of bounds to save the ball.
Young later sprinted past the defense to close the quarter by tossing in a jumper at the buzzer for a 65-52 lead.
The Silver Stars extended their lead to 80-63 when Perkins completed a four-point play after being fouled by Ketia Swanier on a 3-pointer. Perkins was 6 for 7 overall from 3-point range.
``(Perkins) was amazing tonight,' San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. ``She's had a great week for us. She's just absolutely a sparkplug for us coming off the bench.'
The Silvers Stars scored at least 20 points in every quarter in surpassing 90 points for the fifth time during the winning streak.
The Dream had seven fast-break points in the opening quarter, including a layup by Price in a 9-3 run for a 26-20 lead.
``In the first quarter we weren't defensively where we wanted to be,' Hammon said. ``I didn't think we were getting back in transition but once we adjusted, we were able to get back in transition and slow them up a little bit.
``Our efficiency offensively helps a little bit because it takes a couple of extra seconds to take the ball out (after a basket). It all works together when we get good defensively we get really good offensively.'
The Silver Stars' longest winning streak comes as they enter a monthlong break due to the Olympics.
``I think (the break) can help us,' Perkins said. ``A lot of people's bodies are banged up. Personally, I can use it to get some rest. We just have to be professional and take care of our bodies and still work. That's what we plan on doing and we plan on coming back and not losing a beat.'
The Dream were without starting forward Angel McCoughtry, who has been sidelined since July 1 with a left knee sprain.
The Associated Press News Service
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