Stricklen, Thompson Lead Storm Past Shock, 76-67
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Shekinna Stricklen scored a career-high 26 points, Tina Thompson added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and the Seattle Storm beat the Tulsa Shock 76-67 Thursday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
Tanisha Wright had 15 points, including a key basket in the final minute, for Seattle (16-17), which had lost the teams’ previous three meetings this season. The playoff-bound Storm host the Shock in the season finale on Saturday.
“We want to finish at .500 and have that momentum heading into the playoffs,” Stricklen said. “It was good to have a game like this tonight. I felt good shooting the ball and it’s good to have a game that builds confidence.”
Riquana Williams, who set a WNBA single-game scoring record with 51 points in Tulsa’s win at San Antonio on Sunday, had 17 points against the Storm. Roneeka Hodges added 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting on 3-pointers for the Shock (11-22).
With Tulsa leading 60-59 midway through the fourth quarter, Seattle put together a 9-0 run to take its largest lead of the contest. However, the Shock rallied and pulled to 70-67 on Jennifer Lacy’s 3-pointer with 1:10 to play.
Wright then made a 21-footer with the shot clock winding down to push the Seattle advantage back to five points with 37.7 seconds remaining. The basket capped a streak of eight consecutive points for her team by the veteran guard.
“I was just trying to make plays because we needed some plays in that fourth quarter,” Wright said. “Both teams were trying to win and trying to make the big play in the fourth quarter. We made enough to win.”
Courtney Paris had 13 points and Lacy finished with 12 for the Shock. Tiffany Jackson-Jones grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
The short-handed Shock played with just eight players, with All-Star Glory Johnson (knee injury) and rookie Skylar Diggings (illness) watching from the bench.
Tulsa led by as many as nine points in the first half before Stricklen and the Storm offense began to find its rhythm. Stricklen scored seven consecutive points midway through the second quarter, with her 3-pointer tying the score at 28-28 with 4:56 left before the break.
“We gave up a couple of offensive boards late and had a couple of looks that just wouldn’t go down,” Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “I thought that Wright did an excellent job late in the game, but the one that really hurt us tonight was Stricklen. We lost her a few times and she made us pay.”
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