Though Skylar Diggins has struggled during her rookie campaign, the Tulsa Shock would rather not have to try to end their longest slide of the year with her out of the lineup.
An ankle injury could sideline the point guard Wednesday, when the visiting Shock look to avoid a seventh straight loss by recording a third consecutive victory over the Seattle Storm.
Two days after Diggins scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting in a 94-78 loss to Los Angeles, she took two shots and went scoreless in 25 minutes of Tulsa's 86-75 defeat to Minnesota on Saturday. Making matters worse, Diggins left with 3:12 to play because of an ankle injury.
An uncertain status going forward is another setback for Diggins, the third overall pick who is averaging 8.6 points and shooting 30.6 percent for the Shock (3-13). However, she's totaled 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting in two victories over Seattle (6-8) this year.
Since a 92-70 win over the Storm on June 22, the Shock have lost six in a row by an average margin of 14.8 points. Riquana Williams scored 13 of her 22 in the second quarter but Tulsa trailed by nine after one period and turned the ball over 15 times against the Lynx.
The Shock rank last in the league shooting 38.7 percent, and give up a WNBA-high 48.2 percent shooting to their opponents - including 53.8 in the last three games. However, coach Gary Kloppenburg continues to look for a silver lining.
"We just finished playing the top two teams in the league (Los Angeles and Minnesota)," he said. "We know there are things we can build on and we know we have to keep getting better.'
Two of Tulsa's three wins have come against the Storm, including its only road victory, 67-58 on June 7 to snap a nine-game series skid. Roneeka Hodges scored 19 points to lead six players in double figures as the Shock shot a season-high 50 percent (31 of 62) against Seattle in their most recent victory.
The Storm hope to end their struggles versus Tulsa while trying to build on Sunday's 73-65 win over short-handed Atlanta. Tanisha Wright scored 13 of her 21 points in the second half and Camille Little added 19 with 10 rebounds as Seattle shot 51.9 percent to win for the second time in six contests.
The Dream dressed eight players and were minus top players Angel McCoughtry, Sancho Lyttle and Tiffany Hayes. Seattle continues to play without injured superstars Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson.
"I'm sure they're not focused on (their injuries) and I'm not focused on that either," Wright said. "I'm focused on getting wins and tonight we got a win and that's all that matters.'
Little (11.9 points per game) added 19 points for the Storm, but has totaled 12 in the two games versus Tulsa this season.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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