Lynx plan to gun down Shock once more
By ALAN FERGUSON,
The Minnesota Lynx ended their longest losing streak in nearly two years with a record-breaking performance against the Tulsa Shock earlier this week.
The Western Conference leaders will try to handle the last-place Shock again Thursday - this time at home - and head into the Olympic break riding high.
Minnesota (14-4) broke a WNBA mark by shooting 69.5 percent in a 107-86 rout of Tulsa on Tuesday to snap a three-game slide, the longest for the Lynx since dropping five straight July 17-29, 2010.
Candice Wiggins (season-high 25 points) and Maya Moore (24) each made 8 of 12 shots with Wiggins going 6 of 9 from 3-point range. Moore played power forward for the first time in her career, with Rebekkah Brunson out due to a left calf strain. Brunson is also expected to miss Thursday's game.
The Lynx hit 11 of 16 shots from beyond the arc in total en route to their highest scoring output since a 111-103 victory over Connecticut on Aug. 3, 2010.
"They shot the ball very well," Shock leading scorer Ivory Latta said. "They really executed their offense down the stretch. We had some 'fall aparts' in our defense, which we can't let happen on a team like that. We've got to get ready and regroup."
The Lynx, who also defeated the Shock 93-73 in Tulsa on June 9, have won eight straight in the series, but Minnesota guard Lindsay Whalen isn't taking this rematch for granted.
"It is a big game for us going into the break," she said. "We need to come out again and be ready to go. It will be another tough matchup because we just played (Tuesday). We have to go out and have energy and be ready to go."
Latta matched a season high with 25 points and hit 10 of 14 shots - 5 of 8 from 3-point range - in Tuesday's loss for Tulsa (3-14).
"Latta ended up dropping 25 points on us and she was really hard to guard," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We know that when we play Tulsa it is going to be a really hard game and you have to stay the course."
Latta is averaging 22.3 points - 7.4 more than her season mark - and shooting 60.0 percent (24 of 40) in three games this month. She's also made 13 of 19 3-point attempts in July.