Preview: Stars open season against defending champions

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The San Antonio Stars were the only team to defeat the Phoenix Mercury in the desert in 2014. They will look to continue that trend when the two teams battle it out tonight as the WNBA season opens.

San Antonio was 1-4 against Phoenix last season, with the lone win coming in the desert 78-74. The only other close game was an overtime in the Alamo City a few months later.

The Stars will be without Becky Hammon, who retired and is now an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs. Kayla McBride may also miss the game tonight after recovering from offseason foot surgery. Last week, the silver and black lost both preseason games to the Tulsa Shock. The Stars finished the season 16-18 and were swept in the Western Conference Semifinals by the Minnesota Lynx.

The Stars top four scorers are all back in action. Danielle Robinson, Jia Perkins, Danielle Adams and McBride are all back for the silver and black.

Phoenix finished 29-5 last season and captured the WNBA championship. The Mercury will be without four players who helped them capture the title in 2014.

Diana Taurasi will sit out the entire season to rest as will Penny Taylor. Brittney Griner will miss the first seven games of the season due to a suspension after an altercation with her wife Glory Johnson-Griner. Reserve Shay Murphy will miss the entire season as well with a foot injury suffered overseas. The Mercury will have just four players from their 2014 title team returning tonight. DeWanna Bonner, Candice Dupree, Mistie Bass and Tiffany Bass are all in uniform and ready to go.

The Stars and Mercury will tip things off tonight at 9 p.m. inside U.S. Airways Center. Follow @andersonstevem or @sastarshoops for live updates.

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