Stars-Shock Preview

Stars-Shock Preview

Published Sep. 7, 2015 1:17 p.m. ET

Tulsa turned in an uncharacteristic performance after relying on impressive defense during a winning streak.

Keeping the WNBA's worst offense in check doesn't figure to be much of a challenge, however.

The Shock can clinch the Western Conference's third seed Tuesday night when they host the San Antonio Stars, who are still seeking their first road victory.

Tulsa (16-15) leads fourth-place Los Angeles by 2 1/2 games, but continues to give the Sparks a small chance to usurp them after losing 92-73 at Los Angeles on Sunday. The Shock had held teams to 69.0 points per game during a six-game winning streak before allowing Los Angeles shoot 60.7 percent. They let Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike combine for 59 points on 24-of-33 shooting.


Tulsa's Odyssey Sims, who had totaled 54 points while going 16 for 32 in her previous two games, was held to 6-of-18 shooting.

The Shock are 10-5 at home, however, and should be able to get back on track against the Stars (7-25), who are one loss away from guaranteeing themselves the league's worst record. Already set to miss the postseason for just the second time in nine years, San Antonio has little left to play for beyond avoiding infamy. The Stars are 0-15 on the road and would join the 1998 Washington Mystics as the only other team to go winless away from home. They conclude their season Sunday at Seattle.

San Antonio may be playing its worst basketball of the season, losing nine in a row and 13 of 14. Its offense struggled again in Saturday's 82-52 loss to Phoenix, shooting 30.5 percent from the field, including a 1-for-12 mark form 3-point range. The Stars are averaging a league-low 68.5 points this season, and just 58.6 over the last seven contests.

Leading scorer Kayla McBride (13.8 ppg) is only shooting 38.2 percent.

Tulsa won the first two meetings before losing 65-58 at San Antonio on July 17, scoring only 23 second-half points. Stars forward Sophia Young-Malcolm had a game-high 18 points, while Danielle Robinson scored 10 of her 16 in the fourth quarter.

The Shock are seeking a fourth straight home victory in the series.