Latta scores 21 to lead Shock over Sparks 99-85
TULSA, Okla. (AP)
Fill-in starter Ivory Latta had 21 points and a career-best 14 assists to lead the Tulsa Shock to a 99-85 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Thursday night.
Latta, a five-year veteran who replaced starting point guard Temeka Johnson in the lineup, had half of her assists in the third quarter to lead the Shock from an eight-point halftime deficit to a 78-62 lead entering the fourth.
''Our game plan was to push the tempo and score in the open floor,'' said Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg. ''We were able to do that in the third period. That might have been our best quarter of basketball this year.''
Tulsa had seven players in double figures, including Glory Johnson (16), Amber Holt and Jennifer Lacy (14 apiece), Roneeka Hodges (13), Riquna Williams (11) and Chante Black (10).
''Ivory did an outstanding job of pushing the ball,'' Kloppenburg said.
Kristi Toliver scored 17 of her 21 points in the first half for the Sparks. Nneka Ogwumike added 16 points, while Alana Beard and Candace Parker each finished with 14.
The Shock shot 58 percent from 3-point range (14 of 24) and had 27 points off 17 Los Angeles turnovers.
''We went at it pretty hard during the Olympic break,'' Kloppenburg said. ''We went against some guys who play internationally and we found out we could score against them. That gave us a lot of confidence.''
The victory was the second consecutive and third in the four games for Tulsa (6-19), while the Sparks (19-7) snapped a nine-game win streak.
The back-to-back victories were just the third in the Shock's short time in Tulsa. They won two in a row on May 29 and June 4, 2010, and again on Aug. 26 and 28, 2011.