Shock-Silver Stars Preview
The San Antonio Silver Stars saw their franchise-best winning streak come to an end their last time out, but bouncing back after an ugly performance won't be the only motivation heading into their next game.
Trying to clinch a playoff spot, the Silver Stars look to win their ninth straight at home Saturday night when they take on the Tulsa Shock.
San Antonio's 12-game winning streak came to an end with a 101-77 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday.
The Silver Stars (16-6) trailed 59-35 at the half and allowed the Sparks to shoot 57.1 percent overall and go 10 of 19 from 3-point range. They never got within 22 in the second half while giving up their most points of the season.
"They shot lights out," said Sophia Young, who was held to nine points and sat for most of the fourth quarter. "I thought our defense was terrible. We weren't focused at all. We've got to give them credit. They played much better than we did. We can definitely play much better basketball than that."
One bright spot was another strong performance by Danielle Robinson, who finished with a season-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The second-year guard had matched her previous season high two days earlier, finishing with 16 in a win over Washington.
Scoring 9.5 points per game this season, Robinson has averaged 14.5 over the last six contests and 13.0 in two wins against the Shock.
She and San Antonio will try to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time since June 3-8 and clinch a sixth straight playoff berth on Saturday.
The Silver Stars have won eight straight over the Shock (4-18), including both meetings this year. Young had 20 points in an 89-79 win Aug. 17.
San Antonio led by 14 after the first quarter in that game but trailed by a point heading into the fourth. It could get off to another fast start Saturday with the Shock having played the night before.
Tulsa rallied for an 81-78 overtime win over Chicago on Friday, overcoming a 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter. Roneeka Hodges and Riquina Williams each had 22 points, with Williams scoring eight in the extra period to help the Shock snap a five-game losing streak.
It was the second straight overtime game for the Shock, who are tied with Phoenix for the worst record in the WNBA. They lost by two at Connecticut on Tuesday to drop to 0-9 on the road this year.
"It feels good," coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "These guys really deserve it. They played so hard. It's great that we finally got (the victory). We've had so many close games and to get over the hump is huge. Q (Williams) is kind of a streaking player but when she gets going like that, you have to leave her out there.''
Tulsa has dropped 12 straight away from home since a 77-75 win over Los Angeles on Aug. 26, 2011.