July 07, 2014

The Tulsa Shock's roller coaster of a season is on the verge of producing a playoff berth.

The streaky Shock can end a five-year postseason drought with a win Sunday against the Indiana Fever, who are close to securing a playoff spot as well despite a recent rough patch.

Tulsa (14-14) has won four straight and sits comfortably in third place in the Western Conference after Friday's 76-66 victory over Los Angeles. One more win guarantees the Shock, who will be relocating to Dallas-Fort Worth in 2016, their first playoff appearance since the franchise moved from Detroit in 2010.

The Shock last reached the postseason in 2009.

Tulsa had lost 10 straight prior to the streak as it adjusted to star guard Skylar Diggins' season-ending knee injury. The Shock had won eight in a row when Diggins tore her ACL June 28.

"I think when you go through adversity, if you learn from it, it can benefit you, and I think that's what we did," said center Courtney Paris, who posted 12 points and 13 rebounds against the Sparks and leads the WNBA at 9.9 rebounds per game. "And now we're in a situation where we're leading up to having a playoff position, and that's only going to help us."

Riquna Williams has helped Tulsa overcome Diggins' absence by averaging 19.8 points over the last six games. Backcourt mate Odyssey Sims is averaging 19.0 during the four-game surge.

Indiana (17-11) had the distinction of being the league's hottest team before consecutive home losses to Los Angeles and Atlanta this week. The Fever had won six straight and nine of 10 prior to Wednesday's 81-79 defeat to the Sparks.

Though still in excellent position to make the playoffs, Indiana leads fourth-place Washington by only a half-game in the competitive East.

After squandering an early 12-point lead against Los Angeles, the Fever were outscored 29-17 in the fourth quarter in Friday's 90-84 loss to Atlanta.

"We're too good of a team and have too many weapons to get in a situation like this where we lose based on turnovers, or we lose based on missed box-outs, or we lose because we're not doing our defensive principles," Tamika Catchings, who had 24 points against the Dream, told the Fever's official website.

Indiana has won a club-record four consecutive road games and has won four in a row in Tulsa. The Fever overcame 31 points from Williams to earn an 83-80 home win over the Shock on July 15.

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