Diggins leads Shock to fourth straight win
TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Shock's homecourt is no longer friendly to opponents.
Skylar Diggins scored a career-high 26 points and Tulsa finished off a four-game homestand with a 4-0 record after an 85-79 victory over the Seattle Storm on Sunday.
The Shock had been 22-50 at home coming into this season.
''Wow,'' Tulsa's Jennifer Lacy said of opponents' record at the BOK. ''The one we did lose was by one point. We just want to make it a point to protect our home.''
Tulsa blew a third quarter lead but charged back behind Diggins and double-doubles from Courtney Paris and Glory Johnson.
Trailing 77-74, Tulsa (4-5) scored nine straight to take an 83-77 lead with 1:56 left.
Paris had just one steal but it was crucial as it came in the final minute when Seattle was frantically looking for a score. The former Oklahoma center recorded her fifth double-double and her sixth game with double digit rebounds with 16 points and 12 boards. Johnson had a season-high 13 rebounds to compliment her 12 points. In addition, the duo combined for seven assists. The court awareness of Paris and Johnson and their ability to find one another has been phenomenal.
''Courtney has great hands. She caught my hard passes. She does a great job of finishing,'' Johnson said.
Odyssey Sims joined the trio in double figures with 15.
Paris said owning the home court is important.
''That's our goal,'' she said. ''We're a tough team. We had some adversity in the beginning, losing five games to start the season. It was good adversity because we learned from it. Now we're winning those close games.''
The Shock have won a franchise record fourth straight game.
''After five years, starting as an expansion team, we're just trying to secure that home court advantage,'' said head coach Fred Williams. ''That was one of our goals at the start of the year. If you can secure those tight games at home it will put you in a good position at the end of the season. IIt was a hard fought game that went down to the wire. Glory on the boards was a force tonight. Courtney had a key steal and Skylar hit some big baskets down the stretch. Courtney and Glory getting seven assists is great. They got double- and triple-teamed.''
Tanisha Wright scored a team-high 24 points to lead the Storm. Sue Bird was next with 12 followed by Shekinna Stricklen with 11. Former Shock guard Temeka Johnson came off the bench to score nine points for Seattle (5-8).
''We just didn't do a good job down the stretch,'' Wright said. ''We need to start finishing and winning basketball games.''
Tulsa owned the boards with a 36-23 advantage.
''Giving up second shots gave us trouble and we didn't guard the pick and roll very well tonight,'' Seattle coach Brian Agler said. ''They put us in rotation and when you go into rotation usually it consists of your post players. When they do that shots go up then you are out of position to block out and that's what happened tonight.''