Stars crushed by Sparks, lose fifth straight

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SAN ANTONIO - AUGUST 23: Jia Perkins #7 of the San Antonio Stars drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Sparks on August 23, 2015 at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO – AUGUST 23: Jia Perkins #7 of the San Antonio Stars drives to the basket against the Los Angeles Sparks on August 23, 2015 at the Freeman Coliseum in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by D. Clarke Evans/NBAE via Getty Images)

Freeman Coliseum – If you’re looking for a word to describe the 2015 season for the San Antonio Stars, it won’t take you long. “Rough” is what several players and coaches have used and Sunday saw another rough game from the silver and black.

Kayla McBride scored 13 points, but the Stars fell 90-59 to the Los Angeles Sparks in front of 3,491 fans at Freeman Coliseum. The loss was the fifth straight for San Antonio.

Dearica Hamby was the only Star in double figures with 10 points. Sophia Young-Malcolm added eight points for San Antonio, whose playoff hopes took a hit as they fell 3 1/2 games behind Los Angeles for the final playoff berth in the Western Conference.

“We just couldn’t seem to get a hold of the game in any way,” Stars head coach Dan Hughes said. “You had two teams playing in their third game in five days, and you saw signs of it. We just couldn’t grab hold of any part of that game. Los Angeles controlled it.”

The Sparks outscored the Stars 30-16 in the third quarter. San Antonio has been outscored 56-25 in the past two games and shot 27 percent for the game on Sunday.

“I thought they [Los Angeles] played extremely aggressive,” Young-Malcolm said. “They played like they are playing for something. They are trying to make the playoffs, and they are playing really well. We were just kind of playing on the back of our heels the whole game.”

The Sparks were led by Jantel Lavender’s 22 points. Candace Parker chipped in 20 and Ana Dabovic added 18 for Los Angeles (10-17), who padded their cushion over San Antonio and Seattle for the West’s final playoff berth.

“I really liked our focus, we had great play from the starting lineup, to the bench,” Sparks head coach Brian Agler said. “Candace [Parker] and Jantel [Lavender] obviously had big games, they have good chemistry.  Even though Kristi [Toliver] didn’t score a lot she controlled the game.”

With six games remaining, San Antonio knows their playoff hopes are fading. However, that will not stop them from enjoying what time they have left of the season.

“Whatever time we have left, we have got to make better use of our time together, with each other,” Hughes said. “If that leads to the playoffs fine, but it may not. Still you value the time.”

The Stars are now 7-21 on the season and will return to the court next Friday when they travel to Seattle to face Sue Bird and the Storm at 8 p.m. inside KeyArena.

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Stephen Anderson is a writer and editor for the Project Spurs Network. He joined the PS team back in 2014 as a staff writer with Project Spurs and has taken over as editor for network sites Stars Hoops, Rampage Central, and Red Black 90. Stephen graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in 2017 with a degree in Communications Arts, specializing in Journalism and Public Relations. He is a credentialed media member for the San Antonio Stars, Rampage, and San Antonio FC.

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