Thanks to a pair of stunning comebacks over the weekend, the Chicago Sky are off to the best start in team history. Their next opponent is enduring one of its worst.
The 0-6 Tulsa Shock, losers of 12 in a row overall, will try again to snap that lengthy skid while preventing the host Sky from improving to 5-1 on Friday night.
Epiphanny Prince was Chicago's latest rescuer Saturday in Atlanta, hitting a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and scoring eight of her career-best 33 points in overtime for a 94-92 victory.
Prince bested her 31-point performance from the night before, when the Sky needed Sylvia Fowles' layup just before the buzzer to prevail 65-63 at home against Washington. Fowles had 19 points and 16 rebounds while helping Chicago rally from an eight-point deficit in the final 1:45.
She had 20 points and a season-high 19 boards against Atlanta, a game in which the Sky trailed by 22 in the first quarter.
"As long as there is time on the clock, we know we can have a chance to win," Prince said.
That confidence has helped Chicago improve on its previous best start of 3-1, achieved in 2009 and '11. By contrast, the Shock almost certainly aren't nearly as self-assured.
They're off to the second-worst start in franchise history, behind the 0-13 beginning in 2002 when the club was based in Detroit. Tulsa hasn't won since Aug. 28 and has dropped seven in a row on the road since Aug. 26.
The Shock faltered late during their most recent defeat and fell 79-72 in Phoenix on Sunday. They missed eight of their final 10 shots after climbing within three points of the Mercury with 4:55 remaining.
Jennifer Lacy led three Shock players in double figures with a career-high 19 points off the bench, but Tulsa shot 33.3 percent for its fifth straight game below the 40 mark.
"We're struggling to make shots. That's what the bottom line is right now," coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "We've been shooting (35.3 percent), which is just not good enough in this league. We have to find a way to make more shots, simply put."
Temeka Johnson had 18 points and a career-best nine rebounds against her former team as Tulsa nearly rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit.
The Shock suffered both of their losses to Chicago in 2011 during a WNBA-record 20-game skid. Fowles averaged a team-best 17.5 points and 11.5 rebounds during those victories, while Tulsa made 33.3 percent from the field.
The Shock have dropped three of four matchups with the Sky since moving to Tulsa.