Silver Stars-Shock Preview
The San Antonio Silver Stars and Tulsa Shock are running out of time to begin a playoff push.
A loss in Friday's matchup at Tulsa could devastate the little postseason hope that remains for both teams.
The clubs sit at the bottom of the Western Conference, with San Antonio (9-16) three games behind Seattle for the final playoff spot and Tulsa (8-18) 1 1/2 games back of the Silver Stars.
San Antonio is in danger of missing the postseason for the first time since 2006, while Tulsa appears headed for its fourth straight year without a playoff appearance.
The Silver Stars are 3-10 on the road with losses in five of their last six away from home, though they've split their last 10 overall. They took an 80-63 loss at Indiana on Wednesday, facing an uphill climb after a 41-25 halftime deficit.
"I think we came out flat," said Jia Perkins, who was 5 of 10 for 12 points. "It was a tough loss for us."
Perhaps more damaging was the loss of WNBA assists leader Danielle Robinson, who reportedly left with a knee injury. Robinson, whose status is uncertain, was averaging 12.3 points and 8.0 assists over six games prior to Wednesday.
Tulsa lost for the fourth time in five games with Tuesday's 89-86 home defeat to Phoenix despite 23 points from Riquna Williams and 21 points and 13 rebounds by Liz Cambage. The Shock managed to trim a 13-point deficit to three with 16 seconds left after being outscored 27-15 in the third.
"We came out a little lethargic in the third quarter,'' coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "Sometimes that happens. I am not sure I can explain it."
Cambage is averaging 20.8 points over her last eight contests while shooting 64.3 percent from the field.
Skylar Diggins was held to seven points and one assist after a three-game run in which she averaged 14.0 points and 3.7 assists. The rookie guard was scoreless in 17 minutes of a 69-65 loss at San Antonio on Aug. 4, recording five assists with four turnovers.
Though the Silver Stars are one of the league's worst free-throw shooting teams at 74.0 percent, they were 16 for 20 from the line while Tulsa went 13 for 25.
Robinson had 19 points and nine assists while Perkins scored 18 and Williams was out for Tulsa due to injury.
The Shock can even the all-time series at 21 wins a piece with a victory.