After a sputtering start, the Phoenix Mercury did what was expected to the Sacramento Monarchs. Now bring on Houston.

The Mercury scored 57 second-half points Monday night to beat lowly Sacramento 88-67 in a tuneup for tonight's game against the Houston Comets. Phoenix (12-4) is the only team to beat Houston all season.The Comets (16-1) bring an 11-game winning streak into America West Arena, where the ever-enthusiastic crowd should be louder than ever.

"I'm not scared of Houston at all," Mercury point guard Michele Timms said. "I think we're the one team that can match up with Houston, and our last win against them wasn't a fluke."

But, Timms added quickly, if the Mercury plays the way it did most of the first half against Sacramento, "we'll be down by 30 at halftime."