|Resurgent Stars host sliding Dream|
The San Antonio Stars will look to rekindle the effort that saw them produce their best basketball in years when they host the Atlanta Dream on Saturday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
San Antonio (6-22) had won a season-high three straight games before it traveled to Rosemont, Ill. on Thursday and got walloped 94-74 by the surging Chicago Sky, which won its third straight contest while dismantling the Stars.
Dearica Hamby scored 17 points off the bench for the Stars and reserve guard Sequoia Holmes had 14 points against Chicago. Isabelle Harrison added 10 points and nine rebounds and Kelsey Plum finished with eight points and eight assists.
San Antonio's bench players outscored its starters 42-32 as star guard Kayla McBride hit for just five points on 2-of-11 shooting from the floor.
The Stars briefly climbed to within eight points at 53-45 on a Hamby free throw midway early in the third quarter. But that was as close as the visitors would get. Chicago rolled to a 76-61 lead by quarter's end and led by as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter.
"For me, I just thought we didn't guard -- period," Stars coach Vickie Johnson said. "We didn't have a sense of urgency to get out to shooters. We didn't put pressure on (Chicago's shooters). We just allowed them to be comfortable in their sets, and that's not who we are."
The Stars' three-game win streak had been their best run of wins since 2015.
"We got to take it game by game," said Plum, who was named the league's player of the week on Aug. 8. "We're learning that when we play together and play with the passions we're playing with the last couple games, we're a good young, feisty, scrappy team. We can build upon what we've built the last couple weeks, and I'm really excited for our future."
Atlanta (10-17) played at home on Friday, falling to New York 83-77 for its sixth straight loss. The Dream were down by 13 heading to the final quarter but closed to within 75-74 on a 3-pointer by Brittney Sykes with 46.7 seconds to play before succumbing in the end game.
Sykes led Atlanta with 16 points while Tiffany Hayes added 13 and Damiris Dantas and Elizabeth Williams scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the loss.
The Dream, a No. 6 seed a year ago, is currently in ninth place and on the outside looking in for a postseason berth. Atlanta has missed the playoffs just two times since its founding in 2008, and with seven games to go there is plenty of time to right the ship.
"We're not doing the little bitty things," Atlanta coach Michael Cooper said after Tuesday's loss to league-leading Minnesota. "Basketball comes down to not X's and O's, but the fundamentals you were taught back in the ninth grade or on your high school team. That's what big-time basketball's about. We have it to a certain extent, but I think we kind of lose it because we're concerned about the officiating, all the little things and not the most important things."
Atlanta has dominated the Stars the first two times the teams have played this season, winning 77-70 on May 31 and 88-75 on July 18, with both games in Atlanta.