Lynx-Shock Preview

AP - Sports

The Minnesota Lynx rebounded nicely from their first loss of the season.

Given their history against the Tulsa Shock, the two-time reigning Western Conference champs have a good chance to continue their winning ways.

Minnesota goes for a 12th consecutive victory in this series Friday night in Tulsa, where it will face former teammate Candice Wiggins for the first time.

After losing 85-80 to Washington on Saturday in their first road game, the Lynx (3-1) used an 18-4 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to defeat San Antonio 87-72 on Tuesday. The Silver Stars made 38.4 percent of their field-goal attempts.

"I was really proud of our defense. That was something we really focused on after our game in Washington (when the Mystics converted 49.2 percent)," coach Cheryl Reeve told the Lynx's official website. "I thought we were pretty hard to play against tonight."

The Shock (1-5) have had their problems with Minnesota, losing the five matchups last season to remain winless in this series since a 92-79 home victory June 4, 2010.

Tulsa owns the worst record in the league, but three of its defeats have come in overtime.

"We couldn't get it done but I love the competitiveness, the mental toughness," coach Gary Kloppenburg said following Saturday's 76-69 OT loss at Los Angeles. "We're growing each game.''

So is rookie point guard Skylar Diggins, who is averaging 10.3 points with a team-best 4.7 assists.

"She's getting an education by fire,'' Kloppenburg said. "... the thing we love about her is she's a competitor. She wants to win."

Wiggins, who is starting alongside the No. 3 overall pick, would like nothing better than a victory Friday when she faces the team that drafted her third overall in 2008. The former Stanford All-American, acquired in three-team deal in March that sent center Janel McCarville from New York to the Lynx and Nicole Powell from the Liberty to Tulsa, made just one start with Minnesota in the last two seasons but was part of its 2011 title team.

Wiggins ranks fourth in Lynx history with 1,460 points, second with 207 3-pointers and fifth with 359 assists.

Monica Wright has stepped into Wiggins' role, adding a nice boost off Minnesota's bench with 10.0 points per game and 4.3 rebounds. She scored nine of her 16 points in the pivotal second-half run Tuesday.

Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen, second in the league with 7.3 assists per game, scored eight of her team-best 23 points in the fourth quarter of that game.

"Watching her put the team on her back when the team needed her to do and allow everyone else to regroup and knowing what needs to happen," McCarville said of her former University of Minnesota teammate.

Glory Johnson, who is averaging 16.0 points and 10.3 rebounds, may pose problems for McCarville, Maya Moore and Rebekkah Brunson, but it's uncertain if they'll have to face 6-foot-8 center Elizabeth Cambage, who has missed Tulsa's last three games with an ankle injury.

Second-year guard Riquna Williams could return for the Shock after being sidelined two games with a concussion.

View Comments