Things have gotten even tougher for the struggling San Antonio Stars.
With leading scorer Kayla McBride out for the season with a broken foot suffered earlier in July, the Stars (5-16) have lost three straight and now head to Phoenix to take on Diana Taurasi and the high-scoring Mercury on Saturday at Talking Stick Resort Arena.
McBride was averaging 17.1 points before being ruled out for the season. She was the focal point of a limited offense, and the Stars are still trying to figure out how to adjust.
"We've gone through a period where you've lost your leading scorer," San Antonio coach Dan Hughes told the team's website. "So you handle it, but then teams adjust a little bit to you not having that. So now we have to play to some other aspects of our game."
The Stars are averaging a league-low 72.8 points per game and the Mercury lead the WNBA in scoring, averaging 86.9 points per game.
The Mercury snapped a three-game losing streak with a 78-74 win over the Washington Mystics on Wednesday. Brittney Griner had 22 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in the win.
Taurasi, the second leading scorer in the WNBA, had 21 of her 31 points in the first half of the Mercury's 90-75 home win over the Stars on June 10. Phoenix has won three straight and seven of eight overall against San Antonio.
The Stars are coming off an 81-57 blowout loss to the Minnesota Lynx. They were outrebounded 43-26 by the Lynx. Moriah Jefferson led the Stars with 14 points and Monique Curry added 10. Jefferson is the only active Star averaging in double figures at 11.5 points per game.
"It's tough when you take somebody that your leading scorer because that's been a big percentage of what you do," Hughes said. "But now we've had a little time to say, 'Let's emphasize this. Let's focus on this execution.'"
The Stars' five wins are the fewest in the WNBA. They are 1-8 against Western Conference teams.