June 12, 2011
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The last time San Antonio Silver Stars rookie Danielle Adams looked this unstoppable, she was powering Texas A&M to the NCAA title.
"It kind of felt like the championship," Adams said.
Instead it was just her third WNBA game. And she and the Silver Stars still have yet to lose.
Adams scored 32 points and helped erase a 10-point deficit with a trio of 3-pointers during a 44-second burst in the third quarter, leading San Antonio past the Atlanta Dream 86-74 on Saturday night and keeping the Silver Stars (3-0) as the league's only unbeaten team.
It's the best start in the 15-year history of the Silver Stars, dating to the franchise's roots in Utah.
"Coach told me I had the green light so I'm going to take every open shot I get," said Adams, who is barely two months removed from scoring 30 in the national championship win over Notre Dame.
Angel McCoughtry led the Dream (0-3) with 19 points. The defending Eastern Conference champions have blown second-half leads in every game this season, and unlike its first two losses, couldn't force overtime this time.
Atlanta was up 38-28 before the Silver Stars put together a 22-10 run in the third quarter, capped by Adams' 3-point barrage. Atlanta regained the lead midway through the fourth quarter on a layup from McCoughtry, but Adams answered right back with a short jumper down on the other end.
It was the last of Adams' franchise-rookie record 32 points, and the last time Atlanta would have a lead to give away.
"We have to finish. I would say we panicked, but I don't know," Dream forward Sancho Lyttle said. "We settled down and we didn't go on a run but they did. They went on a run and we needed to stop it before it got too bad. We didn't stop the bleeding."
Coco Miller scored 13 points and Erika DeSouza had 10 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. The Dream continue their three-game road trip Tuesday in New York, where they'll try again to improve defensively after giving up an average of 92.6 points.
Adams finished 11 of 19 from the floor and had seven rebounds. She was 5 of 11 from behind the 3-point line and scored 19 in the second half.
Sophia Young and Ruth Riley added 12 points apiece for the Silver Stars.
The momentum changed when Adams hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a span of 44 seconds to put San Antonio ahead 50-48 in the third quarter. Her sudden hot streak came after missing four of her five 3-point looks in the first half.
She made another 3-pointer in the fourth quarter, scored another five points, then -- finally exhausted -- subbed out to a standing ovation.
Lyttle and Alison Bales had 10 points apiece for Atlanta.
The Silver Stars have played their first three games without center Jayne Appel because of an injured left knee. San Antonio hopes she will return for Friday's game at Phoenix.