Shock-Silver Stars Preview
Since sweeping San Antonio to win the 2008 WNBA title, the Shock franchise has rarely gotten the better of the Silver Stars.
But with Tulsa playing well recently and short-handed San Antonio still scuffling without its two stars, the Shock could flip that trend.
Tulsa travels to San Antonio on Sunday for the first of the teams' four meetings this season.
The then-Detroit Shock won the league championship five years ago after sweeping San Antonio in the Finals. But the Silver Stars have won 13 of 16 meetings since then, including four of five last year.
Both currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference, but things appear to be looking up for Tulsa (7-14), which has won four of five.
The Shock are coming off a 96-89 home win over Los Angeles on Friday, establishing a season high for points scored in regulation. Liz Cambage scored a career-high 28 points on 9-of-11 shooting while going 10 for 11 from the free-throw line after averaging 12.4 points over her previous nine games.
"I didn't care about the points. I'm just happy that we won," she said. "Teams think the way to stop me is to foul me but I'm working hard on my free throws."
Cambage combined with Candice Wiggins for 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Shock pulled away after the Sparks got within three points with 3:34 left. Wiggins matched a season high with 18 points.
"I was really proud of the way we withstood their run," coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "It's good for us to be able to beat a good team like that. We're going to have to beat some of the elite teams like Los Angeles in order to get to the playoffs."
The Silver Stars (6-13), without former All-Stars Becky Hammon and Sophia Young all season due to injuries, try to bounce back from an 85-63 loss at Minnesota on Friday.
San Antonio had won its previous two games but its talent disparity was evident as the club was held to 34.2 percent shooting against the league's best team. Coach Dan Hughes' team was outscored 17-9 in the third quarter.
"It was that kind of quarter," Hughes said. "They did a good job defensively and we didn't make some shots that I think we are used to making."
San Antonio's lone All-Star, Danielle Robinson, tallied 12 points and seven assists in her first game since appearing in last Saturday's All-Star game.
The Silver Stars are averaging 64.6 points in their last five games, and their 39.6 percent field-goal shooting ranks near the bottom of the WNBA.
Tulsa, which is just 2-8 on the road, is opening a four-game trip.