Wednesday night, the San Antonio Stars returned to the court at home against the Los Angeles Sparks. Coming off of a five-day break, a rested Stars team returned the favor, beating the Sparks 70-63, after losing 81-86 in Los Angeles on July 2nd.
The Sparks started the game playing well on both ends. Center Jantel Lavender, who finished the first quarter with 8 points and one block, scored the first two baskets for Los Angeles. Nneka Ogwumike followed up with a field goal and would finish the quarter with one block of her own.
With guard Erin Phillips scoring back to back three-point shots, the Sparks were pulling ahead fast at 12-7 with almost six minutes left to play in the first quarter.
San Antonio, who were playing without their exciting and high-scoring backcourt of Jia Perkins and Kayla McBride, struggled to keep up at first, but that did not last long.
At the end of the first quarter, Stars guard Danielle Robinson went for two back-to-back field goals, assisted by Sydney Colson who came off the bench to score an immediate three-point shot, and finished the quarter with a block on Phillips.
The momentum definitely had shifted.
The Stars scored first in the second quarter, while the Sparks remained scoreless for five minutes, allowing San Antonio to tie it up at 23.
Stars' centers Jayne Appel and Danielle Adams came together to get it done in the paint. Appel had her hot mid-range jumper going, while both were getting to the line at the expense of Sparks center Marianna Tolo, who finished the half with four personal fouls.
However, it was Robinson, who finished the game with 22 points and 8 assists, was the reason the Stars were able to get back into the game.
While impressive on offense, it was Robinson's defense that was the highlight of the night. Robinson had Sparks Kristi Toliver on lockdown, holding her to just 3 points for the first half; all three coming from free throws. This allowed San Antonio to go into the half only down by three at 38-35.
Robinson came out and scored first in the third quarter, and the rest of the Stars quickly followed suit, keeping up the momentum. They went on a 15-0 run to put them up 52-43.
The Sparks were barely visible in the third quarter, scoring only six points, and going into the last quarter down 44-52.
The Stars definitely were playing with swagger.
With an ineffective Ogwumike, a visibly frustrated Toliver, who finished the game with only 10 points, Los Angeles was slowly falling apart.
The Sparks would go on to outscore San Antonio 19-18 in the fourth quarter, but without stops, those points were just not enough to get over the Stars.
With this win and Seattle losing to Indiana, San Antonio moved into fourth place in the Western Conference at 3-8.
The Stars takes their show on the road next to play Indiana on Saturday, while Los Angeles also plays on the road against Oklahoma on Friday.