SAN ANTONIO — Without another All-Star in an injury-filled season, the San Antonio Silver Stars had a young player make big plays when needed.
Davellyn Whyte had 13 points and seven assists — both career highs — in her second start in place of injured All-Star Danielle Robinson, and the San Antonio Silver Stars held on for a 70-64 victory over Seattle on Sunday.
Shenise Johnson finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Silver Stars, who ended the Storm’s three-game winning streak.
“Knowing that D-Rob hasn’t played a couple games, I know I have to step up,” said Whyte, in her second season. “I have been watching her this whole year and filling in whenever she needs a sub. I have to go in there, keep my composure and run the team.”
Whyte had three points, going 3-for-4 on free throws while playing the entire fourth quarter for San Antonio, which seeks its seventh consecutive postseason berth.
Seattle (13-14) holds a three-game lead over San Antonio (10-17) for the Western Conference’s final playoff berth. The teams have split the regular-season series at 2-all entering their finale Tuesday night.
The Storm is without All-Stars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson, but the Silver Stars also are missing a pair of All-Stars in Becky Hammon and Sophia Young.
“Survival of the fittest, definitely,” Johnson said. “We are fighting; they are fighting. They are ahead of us in the standings, and we are trying to get that tiebreaker against them.”
Danielle Adams and Jia Perkins each had 14 points for San Antonio, which snapped a two-game skid.
Reserve forward Noelle Quinn had 14 points to lead Seattle. Tina Thompson and Camille Little each had 11 points.
“The better team won tonight,” Seattle guard Temeka Johnson said. “They came out with their business. They came out ready, and we weren’t.”
The Storm pulled within 56-50 with 5 minutes to go in the game behind an 8-0 run fueled by a turnover and a steal.
“I think that even when we made a couple of runs, they answered with either getting to the free-throw line, hitting a couple of big shots or getting an offensive board,” Seattle coach Brian Agler said. “They hurt us on the offensive glass quite a bit. That was the big difference.”