After putting together a lengthy winning streak, the Connecticut Sun are suddenly on the verge of their longest skid of the season.
The Sun try to get back on track as they open a home-and-home series against the visiting Tulsa Shock on Thursday night.
Connecticut (8-9) has followed a six-game run with three consecutive defeats after falling 74-71 to San Antonio on Tuesday. The Sun, who averaged 85.2 points during the winning streak, have been limited to 66.3 per game over the last three.
Katie Douglas had a season-high 25 points but star rookie Chiney Ogwumike finished with a season-low six, well below her team-best mark of 15.6 per game.
The Sun went 4 of 7 from the foul line while the Stars made 16 of 17. Connecticut stormed back from 12 down with just over a minute left in the third quarter but couldn't keep up down the stretch.
The Sun, who had won each of their previous five at home, missed nine layups in the second quarter and 11 in the first half.
"Eleven missed layups in the first half are tough to overcome, and at the same time you overcome it, you don't get lax on defense," said coach Anne Donovan, whose team was outscored 28-15 in the third quarter.
"The points San Antonio scored in the third quarter were a product of us thinking about missed layups and missed shots and us being completely complacent defensively."
Sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference, Tulsa (6-10) is also trying to avoid a fourth consecutive loss following a 90-74 defeat at New York on Tuesday. The Shock were outplayed in almost every facet of the game, getting outrebounded 45-27 and outscored 52-36 in the paint.
Star guard Skylar Diggins got off to a slow start before scoring 20 of her 23 points in the second half. The Shock pulled to within four with 37 seconds left in the third quarter before getting outscored 26-16 in the fourth.
"I was trying to be more aggressive and get different looks,'' Diggins said of her second-half play. "That was our problem. We weren't aggressive until the third quarter. Got more finishes, more fast-break points. That's when we're playing our best basketball."
Diggins, averaging a team-best 20.9 points, has scored 26.6 over a five-game stretch.
The Shock have dropped three of four to Connecticut after splitting two meetings last season, including a lopsided 88-69 road loss. Tulsa is 2-7 as the visiting team this year.
The Shock are allowing a WNBA-worst 83.8 points per game, including 91.6 while losing five of seven. The Sun have won seven straight when scoring at least 75.
These clubs meet again Saturday night in Tulsa.
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