Christmas' career-high 24 lead Shock over Sparks 82-67
TULSA, Okla. (AP) Karima Christmas scored a career-high 24 points and Odyssey Sims returned from an 11-game absence due to a knee injury to help the Tulsa Shock beat the Los Angeles Sparks 82-67 on Saturday night.
Sims added 14 points while playing in her first game since June 9 when she injured her left knee.
''It feels great. I'm just happy to be playing again,'' said Sims, who played 24 minutes and provided a boost for the Shock, who were thin at guard with the loss of Skylar Diggins for the season with a torn ACL. ''I played as much as I could and did what I could to help my team.''
Tulsa coach Fred Williams was surprised how much Sims played.
''I didn't expect that many minutes,'' he said. ''I was looking at somewhere around 15 or 12. She is just a competitor and she is going to play and she wants to get out there.''
The Shock (10-4) pulled away with a 13-4 run capped by Christmas' free throw with 3:15 left that made it 74-60.
Brianna Kiesel and Vicki Baugh each added 10 points for Tulsa, which won its second straight after a three-game losing streak that included a 98-95 loss to Los Angeles on July 3.
Nneka Ogwumike had 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Sparks (2-10), and Jantel Lavender added 14 and 11. Los Angeles opened the game with a 12-4 run and never trailed in the first quarter, but the Shock took the lead for good with a 14-2 run to open the second.
''We didn't play very well in the second quarter,'' Los Angeles coach Brian Agler said. ''They made a good run on us, and it really started at the end of the first and carried over.''
The Shock improved to 6-0 at home while the Sparks fell to 0-6 on the road.