Sun stay hot with runaway win at San Antonio

Kelsey Plum scored 11 points against the Sun Wednesday. Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBA Entertainment.
Kelsey Plum scored 11 points against the Sun Wednesday. Photo by Mark Sobhani/NBA Entertainment.

San Antonio – Equipped with both a suffocating defense that forced 18 San Antonio turnovers and a scorching offense that saw three Connecticut starters reach double figures, the league’s hottest team put on a basketball clinic deep in the heart of Texas Wednesday with a runaway 89-56 win over the Stars.

Courtney Williams tallied 17 points and Alyssa Thomas scored 13 to pace a balanced scoring attack as the Sun built as much as a 35-point lead to win their eighth game in ten tries with a road win that solidified their move into the No. 3 slot in the WNBA power rankings on Monday.

Every active player scored for Connecticut (9-7) scored, as they shot a blistering 51.7 percent from the field on 37-of-72 shooting.

San Antonio (1-15) failed to build on the momentum of their first win last Friday night over Chicago on a poor shooting night that put them in a deep hole early in what head coach Vickie Johnson called their “worse performance of the year.”

“I thought that our effort on both sides of the ball was horrible as a whole,” Johnson said. “They just dominated us, they played harder and better. We had a couple of days off and we had two good practices, so I have no idea what happened today. Everybody can’t lack energy, somebody from the bench has to pick us up. We all just played flat today.”

The Stars led briefly 9-8 on a short jump shot by Moriah Jefferson early in the opening stanza but from there, Connecticut went on a 22-7 run to extend their lead, and never looked back.

Jefferson exited the game in the second quarter after suffering a head contusion after a collision with teammate Alex Montgomery while trying to secure a defensive rebound.

The Stars dished out 28 assists in their win over the Sky, but could only muster 11 in front of a season-low home crowd of 3,210.

Kelsey Plum scored a career-high 11 points for San Antonio. The No. 1 draft pick, who missed the first several games of the season with an ankle injury, previously scored eight points vs. Connecticut on June 3 and at Seattle on June 18.

“I do feel more comfortable out there,” Plum said. “Shots are not falling the way I want them to, but I do feel like I’m getting to the spots I need to get to, and things like that. I have faith in myself, so I know it will come.”

Now the Stars will regroup and prepare to face the Phoenix Mercury Friday night in the last of a three-game homestand.

Former teammate Monique Currie, who was traded two weeks ago, will return with Phoenix, along with the two of the league’s marquee players in Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner.

San Antonio forward Kayla McBride expects her teammates to be more energized and focused against Phoenix.

“Coach talked to us about getting our mojo back and getting back into a groove so we have to watch film and try to go out and get another win against a good team on Friday,” McBride said.