8:00 PM ET, July 8, 2008
Four straight wins have vaulted the San Antonio Silver Stars to the top of the Western Conference standings. Their play against the Eastern Conference has certainly helped them get there.The Silver Stars look to improve to 7-0 against the East on Tuesday when they host the New York Liberty, who will be trying to finish over .500 on their five-game road trip.San Antonio (12-6) opened the season 3-4 but has since won nine of its last 11 games, with its only two losses over that span coming against intrastate rival Houston.The Silver Stars have followed up consecutive defeats in a home-and-home series against the Comets with four victories in a row, and can match their season-high five-game streak from June 11-20 with a win over New York (9-8).Former Liberty star Becky Hammon led the way in San Antonio's latest victory, scoring a season-high 28 points and adding six rebounds and five assists in an 83-75 win at Washington on Sunday. It was the Silver Stars' sixth victory in as many games against Eastern opponents this season."I was just trying to be patient, take whatever was open," said Hammon, who at 95.5 percent is the WNBA's leading free-throw shooter. "A lot of times that is passing the ball for me. Other times it's scoring."San Antonio has been able to rely on more than just Hammon for offense. Sophia Young is seventh in the league with 18.5 points per game, and center Ann Wauters is averaging 14.7 points and 7.2 rebounds.With those two and Hammon (15.9 ppg), the Silver Stars are the only team with three players among the league's top 20 scorers.The Liberty average 79.0 points -- fifth in the league -- despite having just one scorer in the top 25. Forward Shameka Christon is 14th in the WNBA at 16.6 points per game, but she's averaging 24.0 over her last three.Christon led New York in scoring for the fourth straight game on Saturday, putting up 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting as the Liberty beat Phoenix 93-83 to snap the Mercury's four-game winning streak.New York is 2-2 on its four-game Western trip."When we play on the road, everything is against us, so we have to go out there and execute 10 times better than we would at home," Christon said.Phoenix allows more points than anyone in the WNBA, but Christon and the Liberty figure to have a more difficult time scoring against San Antonio. The Silver Stars are the second-stingiest team in the league, allowing 70.9 points per game.San Antonio has won three straight against New York.