SAN ANTONIO (AP) - It's taken a few games, but the Seattle Storm are finding their footing without the franchise's two cornerstones.
Sharing the ball offensively and using a gang mentality on defense, Seattle beat the San Antonio Silver Stars for its third straight victory.
Camille Little had 23 points and 10 rebounds, Tina Thompson scored 10 of her 21 points in the final five minutes, and Seattle beat San Antonio 91-86 on Friday night.
The Storm (4-3) have rebounded from a 1-3 start that was created in part by season-ending surgeries to All-Stars Lauren Jackson (hamstring) and Sue Bird (knee).
``I think we disappointed ourselves in the start, and we didn't play to the best of our abilities,'' Little said. ``We knew we were better than that and so we've just focused as a group so we can play better on both ends of the floor. We've been doing that and we're going to try to continue doing that.''
Seattle was 23 for 25 on free throws and 6 for 9 on 3-pointers.
Temeka Johnson, Noelle Quinn and Tanisha Wright added 12 points each as Seattle's starters outscored San Antonio's 80-63.
Jia Perkins scored 21 points, Danielle Robinson had 20 and Shameka Christon added 19 for San Antonio (2-5), which lost its fourth straight despite a late rally.
The Silver Stars stole the ball with Seattle leading 88-84 with 21.5 seconds left, but Christon lost the ball out of bounds after being tripped on a fast-break attempt. No foul was called on the play as the Storm regained possession and closed out the victory at the free-throw line.
``I'll have to look at the one play at the side,'' San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. ``I thought we had created a clear-path foul. We'll take a look and see.''
San Antonio struggled to find some familiarity early in the game with two new starters in the lineup.
Danielle Adams started in place of Jayne Appel, who missed her second straight game with a concussion, and Hughes opted to start Shenise Johnson instead of Christon.
The altered lineup led to some disarray, with the Silver Stars committing four turnovers in the first quarter.
``I thought offensively we came out a little sluggish,'' Hughes said. ``Then we evolved offensively and got into a better rhythm.''
The Storm led by 12 points in the first quarter as the Silver Stars shot 4 for 14 from the field.
Seattle went on an 8-0 run, capped by a free throw by Johnson following a technical foul on Hughes.
``I think we're playing well together,'' Seattle coach Brian Agler said. ``We're moving the ball sharply, we're running offense with good pace, and we're getting some key defensive stops. I wish we were a little more consistent defensively, because we do put a lot of time into that.''
Christon's return to the lineup stabilized the team's offense, yielding a 9-4 run.
``This was one of those games where you have to find the rhythm and get things going,'' Perkins said. ``I think we have to get better defensively. I think we scored enough points to win. So we just have to stop the other team from scoring more points than us. It felt like every time we made a run they would answer with a 3 or whatever the case may be.''
Agler left for the locker room before the halftime buzzer, upset with the Storm's execution on the final two plays of the first half. Wright passed up an open 3 in the corner as Seattle failed to put up a shot before time expired.
Agler's mood didn't improve when Christon's fourth 3-pointer gave San Antonio its first lead at 42-40 on the opening possession of the third quarter.
``They were shooting the ball well,'' Agler said. ``I thought we were better defensively, but even with us making plays on them, they hit some good shots.''