Silver Stars beat Shock to stay in playoff picture
TULSA, Okla. (AP)
Jia Perkins scored 19 points and the San Antonio Silver Stars had a sizzling second quarter to keep their faint playoff hopes alive with a 74-65 win over the Tulsa Shock on Friday night.
Shenise Johnson had 13 points and Danielle Adams added 10 for the Silver Stars, who hit 11 of their 15 shots in the second to outscore Tulsa 28-13 in the period.
''We shot the ball really well. Tonight was one of those nights when the ball goes in,'' said San Antonio coach Dan Hughes. ''This team has fought through a lot this season with injuries and adversity. Our record is very deceiving of the type of team this is.''
San Antonio (11-18) trails fourth-place Seattle in the Western Conference by four games with five remaining.
Riquana Williams scored 18 points, and Glory Johnson had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Shock (9-20), who were eliminated from playoff contention.
''It's been an uphill battle with this young team,'' said Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg. ''We knew this young team was going to go through some growing pains as they learned how to win. We're going to keep battling over the next five games.''
Trailing by 14 at intermission, Tulsa would get no closer than nine until the waning moments. Candice Wiggins hit a pair of free throws with 31.1 seconds remaining to pull the Shock to 70-65, but Johnson answered with two free throws to push the lead back to seven.
''They attacked us at the end and tried to come back, but luckily we had built up that early lead and could hang on,'' Hughes said.
Reserve Shameka Christon keyed San Antonio's second-quarter surge, nailing consecutive 3-pointers to kick off a 13-2 run.
With starting center Liz Cambage sidelined with an ankle injury and point guard Angel Goodrich benched by illness, Tulsa used a three-guard starting lineup that included rookie Skylar Diggins, who started for the first time since July 13, and Williams, who made her first start of the season. The new lineup energized the Shock early on as Tulsa jumped out to a quick 13-6 lead.
But Perkins hit back-to-back baskets to help the Silver Star claw back and she finished with 11 points in the first half.