Taurasi, Mercury capture season opener vs. Silver StarsMay 20, 2007 - 4:25 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Diana Taurasi and Phoenix Mercury fared much better than their NBA counterparts.
Taurasi scored 20 points and Tangela Smith added 17 as the Mercury ran out to an early lead and hung on for an 81-72 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night.
Kelly Miller scored 15 points for Phoenix, which has won eight straight games, including the last seven contests of last season.
On Friday, the Phoenix Suns were eliminated in their Western Conference semifinal against the San Antonio Spurs in the culmination of a hard-fought, gruesome series. One of the best teams in the NBA, the Suns were eliminated in the conference finals the last two seasons and in the second round this campaign.
With much less on the line, it was a different story for the Mercury, who won their season opener for the first time since 2000 - the last time they qualified for the playoffs.
Phoenix took control of the game with an impressive run to finish the first quarter. Trailing by three points midway through the opening period, the Mercury capped a 12-0 run with two free throws by Adriana Moises Pinto to make it 27-18 with three seconds left in the quarter.
Phoenix then outscored San Antonio, 21-10, in the second period to take 20-point lead at halftime.
Sophia Young scored 14 points and the newly acquired Becky Hammon added 13 for the Silver Stars, who shot just 35 percent (26-of-74) from the field, including 2-of-17 on 3-pointers.
SAN ANTONIO 72
PHOENIX 81 FINAL
May 20 12:00 AM
SAN ANTONIO 50
PHOENIX 65 END, 3RD QTR
May 19 11:30 PM
- WNBA Capsules May 14
- WNBA set to tip off 20th season this weekend May 13
- WNBA's Dan Hughes enters last season as San Antonio coach May 13
- Fever's Catchings cherishing every moment of farewell tour May 11
- Diana Taurasi back in WNBA, shoots for 4th Olympic gold May 9
- Champion Lynx begin season with 1 more mountain to climb May 8
- Army star Kelsey Minato gets a chance to play in WNBA May 7
- Taurasi, Catchings, Bird headline US women's Olympic team Apr 27
- UConn trio look to make history at WNBA draft Apr 14
- WNBA hires Jay Parry as chief operating officer Apr 11
- Phoenix Mercury bring back Penny Taylor Feb 8
- WNBA star Tamika Catchings interns at NBA offices Feb 6