SAN ANTONIO (AP) - With Diana Taurasi enduring her worst game of the season, her Phoenix Mercury teammates stepped up to make up for her struggles.
Penny Taylor scored 30 points, Candice Dupree had 20 points and 13 rebounds and the Phoenix Mercury handed the San Antonio Silver Stars their first loss, 105-98 on Tuesday night.
Kara Braxton added 15 points and Temeka Johnson had 14 for the Mercury (2-3). Taurasi shot 2 for 13 from the field and finished with seven points - 16 below her league-leading average.
``That's the team we're trying to be,' Taurasi said. ``It's not one person. Every night we have to get contributions from different places, and as long as you bring that aggressiveness and emotion, we can live with what happens.'
Becky Hammon had 28 points and seven assists to lead the Silver Stars (4-1), who were the WNBA's last undefeated team. Rookie forward Danielle Adams scored 22 points and Jia Perkins added 15 for San Antonio, which played without leading scorer Sophia Young (illness).
``It's big for us to get this first win of our four-game road trip,' Taylor said. ``We had a few losses to start the season, but we really feel like we are going forward now with some momentum.'
Phoenix led by 17 with 4 1/2 minutes to go before San Antonio rallied. Hammon's fifth 3-pointer of the game pulled the Silver Stars to 103-98 with under 21 seconds to go. However, the Mercury shot 6 for 6 from the line in the final minute to secure the win.
The Mercury shot 51 percent from the field (39 for 77) against one of the league's top defenses. It was the first time this season San Antonio let an opponent shoot 50 percent.
``We did a decent job on Taurasi,' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ``You're fortunate when you can find her on a night where that happens. But different things broke down. We had a period where I thought they hurt us interior wise. Taylor was consistently the playmaker throughout the game.'
Phoenix jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the first quarter before the Silver Stars rallied to tie the game at the end of the quarter. The Mercury, though, quickly regrouped in the second quarter and led 52-43 at halftime.
Taurasi, who has been the league's top scorer each of the last three seasons, didn't score until there was 3:50 remaining in the first half. Immediately after she hit a tightly contested jumper, she drew a technical foul for arguing a non-call.
Her worst game this season before Tuesday was June 10 when she had nine points at Los Angeles.
It didn't take Taurasi nearly as long to get going in the second half. She hit a 3-pointer 1:25 into the third quarter to put the Mercury up 57-45, drawing a quick timeout from the Silver Stars.
It was the teams' second meeting in five days. The Silver Stars rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Mercury 101-99 on Friday in Phoenix.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved