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WNBA News and Notes Saturday 6/13

WNBA News and Notes Saturday 6/13

Saturday's WNBA Best Bets

New York Liberty at San Antonio Silver Stars (-6, 145)

Judging by the way their former star guard has tormented them since, the New York Liberty may have made a mistake two years ago when they traded Becky Hammon to the San Antonio Silver Stars.

Hammon looks to continue her success against her old team Saturday night when the Silver Stars try to defeat the Liberty for the sixth straight time.

New York (0-2) dealt Hammon to San Antonio before the 2007 season for the No. 2 pick in the WNBA draft. That selection, Jessica Davenport, was cut by the Liberty earlier this year.

Hammon, meanwhile, has emerged to lead the Silver Stars (0-1) to the playoffs for two straight years, including last season's appearance in the WNBA finals against Detroit. Two years after the trade, she claims there are no hard feelings.

"I have great memories of New York," Hammon said. "My former teammates are already blowing up my phone wanting to cook out when they get here so I still keep in touch with most of the girls.

"I have a lot good memories of Madison Square Garden. We did a lot of great things, Eastern Conference championships and finals and all sorts of stuff so I have nothing but love for them."

San Antonio is 4-0 against New York since the trade, with Hammon averaging 24.5 points. She averaged 28.5 in last season's sweep of the Liberty. The Silver Stars set a league record by going 14-0 against Eastern Conference opponents in 2008.

Pick: San Antonio -6

Sacramento Monarchs at Phoenix Mercury (-4.5, 169)

The Sacramento Monarchs know the key to beating the Phoenix Mercury is being able to contain stars Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter.

After succeeding at that in their last contest, the Monarchs hope for a repeat performance while looking for their first road victory over the Mercury in four years Saturday night in the finale of a home-and-home between the Western Conference rivals.

Nicole Powell scored 19 points and Sacramento (1-2) held Taurasi and Pondexter to a combined 21 points in a 90-71 home victory over Phoenix on Friday.

The WNBA's top two scorers from a year ago, Taurasi and Pondexter entered Friday's game averaging a combined 47.5 points for the Mercury (2-1), who scored 181 in their first two contests.

"It was a great defensive effort, it takes a collective focus against a team like that,'' said Monarchs coach Jenny Boucek, whose team outrebounded the Mercury 42-31 and held a 22-6 edge in second-chance points. "We hope to take momentum from this game into (Saturday). There's not a lot of time for them to make adjustments.''

That's especially true since the Monarchs haven't won in Phoenix since a 77-72 victory on May 21, 2005.

"There's absolutely no margin for error,'' Boucek said. "If you don't show up playing your 'A' game, you're going to get beat. (Phoenix) is a good team."

Powell, who had 22 points combined in two losses to Seattle, was 5 for 11 from the floor for Sacramento, which is trying to get by without veteran point guard Ticha Penicheiro, who is out with an injured thumb.

Center Laura Harper added 12 points and eight rebounds, and rookie Courtney Paris also had eight boards for the Monarchs.

"It's just the way it is,'' Powell said. "Each person is just worried about doing what they can. We're not worried about who's coming out there. ... We just go out there and do the best we can.''

Taurasi, who had 11 points and was plagued by foul trouble Friday night, could get back on track as she returns home where she scored 46 points in the first two games of the season.

Pick: Over 169

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Re: WNBA News and Notes Saturday 6/13

NEW YORK (0 - 2) at SAN ANTONIO (0 - 1)
Top Trends for this game.
NEW YORK is 43-24 ATS (+16.6 Units) on Saturday games since 1997.
NEW YORK is 21-10 ATS (+10.0 Units) after allowing 75 points or more over the last 3 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
SAN ANTONIO is 3-1 against the spread versus NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
SAN ANTONIO is 4-0 straight up against NEW YORK over the last 3 seasons
3 of 4 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

SACRAMENTO (1 - 2) at PHOENIX (2 - 1)
Top Trends for this game.
PHOENIX is 116-83 ATS (+24.7 Units) in home games since 1997.
PHOENIX is 74-50 ATS (+19.0 Units) in home games vs. division opponents since 1997.
PHOENIX is 47-29 ATS (+15.1 Units) in home games when playing against a team with a losing record since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
PHOENIX is 4-4 against the spread versus SACRAMENTO over the last 3 seasons
PHOENIX is 5-3 straight up against SACRAMENTO over the last 3 seasons
6 of 8 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons 

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