Shock-Stars Preview

The Associated Press

Skylar Diggins is the star of the Tulsa Shock, but for them to dig out of last place in the Western Conference will likely ride on the shoulders of the inside duo of Courtney Paris and Glory Johnson.

Paris and Johnson had a huge effort last week against the San Antonio Stars and will try to duplicate that performance Tuesday night on the road.

Diggins has taken her game to a new level with 21.0 points per game to rank second in the WNBA behind Minnesota's Maya Moore. She averaged 8.5 points last year as a rookie.

''People thought I was broken,'' said Diggins about her rookie season. ''I'm the same old Skylar. I just got in the gym and worked hard, harder. I've always had a pretty big work ethic. I'm on myself harder than anybody could be on me."

The Shock also feature two of the league's best post players in Paris and Johnson, who have combined for 22 double-doubles for the most by any teammates.

Tulsa (8-15) dropped the first two meetings with San Antonio before riding that duo to a 95-90 win Thursday to snap a five-game slide. Paris scored a career-high 22 points and Johnson added 15 and 10 rebounds.

''The team really fed Glory and Paris and cleared out giving them room to operate,'' coach Fred Williams said.

Paris made all nine shots and is 20 of 23 from the floor for 45 points and 31 rebounds this year against the Stars. Johnson has totaled 48 points in the season series.

''We knew we had an advantage in the low post,'' Johnson said. ''Courtney does a great job and I try to feed her the ball in the high-low. She's powerful down there."

Paris and Johnson proved to be too difficult for a Stars frontcourt that features rookie Kayla McBride, Diggins' former teammate at Notre Dame. McBride is averaging 18.7 points in the season series but has only totaled nine rebounds.

Tulsa is three games behind third-place San Antonio (11-12) and would lose the season series tiebreaker with a defeat Tuesday.

The Stars have played the last eight games without Jia Perkins, who has been out with a strained right hamstring. Perkins averages 12.7 points to rank second on the team and totaled 26 in two wins over Tulsa in May.

Diggins is entering off a spectacular performance Saturday in which she led the West with 27 points in the All-Star game, although she turned the ball over in the closing seconds of a 125-124 overtime defeat.