The Tulsa Shock are hoping the end of a 10-game slide will help propel them onto a winning streak.
They’re getting closer to beating the Phoenix Mercury, their likely opponent in the postseason.
The Shock look to end a five-game slide in this series and win for the first time at home since the league approved their relocation to the Dallas-Fort Worth area as they meet the Mercury on Tuesday night.
Article continues below ...
Tulsa (11-14) stunned Eastern Conference-leading New York 81-76 on Saturday to split a two-game trip and win for the first time since July 11. Odyssey Sims had a season-high 27 points and seven assists and Riquna Williams added 15 points.
"Now we are about to start a winning streak," Sims said. "It starts here, and we are going to build each day and get back."
Now the Shock can end a five-game home slide in their third game at the Bank of Oklahoma Center since the July 23 announcement that WNBA owners unanimously approved the plan to relocate the franchise. Fans have been wearing ”Save Our Shock” shirts since.
It would provide a boost on and off the court to defeat the Mercury (15-9), who are in second place in the West with the Shock in third and on course for a first-round playoff matchup.
Phoenix is 3-0 in the season series, though Tulsa is poised to break through. The Mercury posted an 86-55 win in the first meeting July 2 and won 78-66 on July 30 before needing DeWanna Bonner’s 3-pointer at the overtime buzzer for an 87-84 win Aug. 4 in a contest in which they trailed by 12 points in the third quarter.
The Mercury fell 75-63 to Indiana on Sunday night. Candice Dupree and Brittney Griner had 12 points apiece and Bonner – fifth in the league with 16.8 points per game – was held to nine.
"We didn’t give our best effort tonight and I think it’s really come from how we’ve been practicing in the last few days, a little fatigue sneaking in and we’ve gotta be able to fight through that," coach Sandy Brondello said.
The Mercury missed all 13 of their 3-point attempts. That may not be an issue Tuesday since they are shooting 45.2 percent from beyond the arc versus the Shock.
"We make some of those shots, it changes everything a little bit," Brondello said.
Tulsa forward Plenette Pierson’s status is uncertain after the All-Star injured her knee against the Liberty.