The Minnesota Lynx have dominated the series with the Tulsa franchise, but the Shock showed in the season opener they've closed the gap on one of the league's powerhouses.
Seeking a sixth straight win, Tulsa looks to avenge its lone defeat of the season with a rare victory over the Lynx on Sunday night in a matchup between the Western Conference's top teams.
Minnesota (5-1) has finished first or second in the West each of the last four seasons while the Shock (5-1) have had one of the conference's worst two records in each of the past five. Not surprisingly, this series has been decisively one-sided, with the Lynx winning 20 of the last 21 meetings. Minnesota's lone blemish in that span was an 83-77 home defeat Aug. 16, 2013.
The Lynx won their sixth straight in the series on June 5, but it wasn't easy as they fell behind by 16 in the first quarter. Lindsay Whalen scored 11 of her 26 points in the fourth as the Lynx outscored the Shock 20-11 over the final 10 minutes for an 83-75 win.
Tulsa opened 5 of 6 from 3-point range before going 2 of 18 the rest of the way. The Shock have been buoyed by their 3-point shooting since that defeat, connecting on 42.9 percent during their five-game winning streak - the franchise's longest since 2008, when the team was in Detroit. The 2008 team also had a six-game run en route to winning the WNBA Finals.
Tulsa is one of the league's highest-scoring teams at 81.8 points per game, and the Lynx aren't far behind at 77.0. Minnesota, however, can also neutralize the Shock's outside shooting, as it has already proven.
The Lynx are holding opponents to 28.4 percent from 3-point range after limiting winless San Antonio to 3 of 15 in Friday's 74-59 victory. Minnesota improved to 46-3 when holding its opponent under 70 points.
Seimone Augustus had a game-high 18 points, Maya Moore scored 14 and Rebekkah Brunson and Asjha Jones added 12 apiece.
Moore finished with 23 points and Brunson grabbed 18 rebounds against the Shock two weeks ago.
Tulsa's Plenette Pierson had a team-high 18 points in that one and Riquna Williams finished with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting.
In Friday's 86-82 win at Washington, Pierson had 24 points and Williams scored 22 and hit 4 of 8 3-pointers.