The Sun could use a rallying point right now

Mohegan - Now for a blinding flash of obvious: There must be a launching point for the Connecticut Sun if they are to salvage their summer.

Today would be considered a case of good timing, for example.

Because if the Sun (3-9) lose another home game today to San Antonio (5 p.m.) they would fall to 3-10, staring at three road games before the All-Star break.

And while the Sun aren't all that far out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the abyss has grown slowly, steadily and soon perhaps perilously.

"It's gut check time for all of us," Sun coach Anne Donovan said after absorbing Friday's beating against Chicago.

Donovan might not be the only coach in the building using "gut check" in the pregame state of the union today. San Antonio coach Dan Hughes might say the same to the Stars (4-9) who lost at home to Washington on Friday night and spent much of Saturday traveling to Connecticut.

The Stars have more in common with the Sun than a rotten record. Injuries have ravaged them, too, claiming all-star Sophia Young (knee) and guard Becky Hammon, who tore a knee ligament last week in her first game back since breaking a finger in training camp.

Center Jayne Appel (concussion), forward DeLisha Milton-Jones (shin) and guard Shenise Johnson (knee) have also missed games this season. The Stars, like the Sun with Sydney Carter, had to sign an emergency replacement player Friday, league veteran Cathrine Kraayeveld, to get the roster to 10 players.

Kara Lawson returned to the Sun on Friday, at least offering a glimmer of hope. Renee Montgomery, who has missed 10 games with an ankle injury, may return today. Donovan called her "questionable," which, if you are a Sun fan, sure beats "doubtful."

Donovan, meanwhile, was clearly not happy with her team after Friday's loss. She cited Tina Charles' 29 points and Lawson's contributions during her first game back from injury as positives. That's it.

"Bottom line for us is we have to shoot the ball better and have more than just (Charles) carry us out of that starting lineup," she said. "I think too much of the time if the shot is not falling, we lose our focus defensively."

m.dimauro@theday.com

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