Sun-Shock Preview

The Associated Press

Despite both sitting last in their respective conferences, the Tulsa Shock and Connecticut Sun hope to build on their latest victories.

Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in 2013, the visiting Sun try for a fourth straight victory over the Shock on Friday night.

Tulsa (4-13) didn't let the absence of injured rookie Skylar Diggins keep it from snapping a six-game slide with Wednesday's 86-59 road rout of Seattle. Riquna Williams scored 26 points as the Shock shot a season-high 57.4 percent to beat the Storm for the third time in 2013.

The Shock entered shooting a league-low 38.7 percent and averaged 71.8 points during the skid.

Rookie Angel Goodrich stepped up with a season-high 14 points in place of Diggins, the third overall pick who sat with an ankle injury suffered late in Saturday's 86-75 loss to Minnesota.

"Obviously, it was a big role to step into,'' said Goodrich, who came in averaging 3.3 points. "I just wanted to go out and be aggressive.''

Though Diggins is averaging a disappointing 8.6 points and shooting 30.6 percent, she remains a key member of the West's last-place club.

"It's day to day with her," coach Gary Kloppenburg said.

Williams (15.1 points per game), meanwhile, has scored at least 22 in three of her last four games and continues to provide a spark as a reserve.

"She's a dynamic player, an explosive player off the bench,'' Kloppenburg said. "I've been bringing her off the bench, and she really seems to thrive in that role.''

Williams' recent run of production started July 2, when she scored 23 on 9-of-15 shooting in an 88-69 loss at Connecticut (4-9), which has won six of seven against the Shock.

The Sun avoided a third consecutive loss Sunday versus San Antonio, but needed a late rally to make it happen. Allison Hightower scored a career-high 23 points and Tina Charles added 20 with 10 rebounds as Connecticut overcame an eight-point deficit early in the fourth quarter with a 17-4 run to ultimately win 86-84.

"We have a very strategic way of digging ourselves into some holes for that dramatic ending,'' Connecticut's Kalana Greene said. "Hopefully we can use that for momentum going into Tulsa.''

Connecticut, 2-2 since ending June on a four-game slide, is the only WNBA team yet to win back-to-back games.

"Knowing how hard it is to win in this league, you never take it for granted,'' said forward Kara Lawson, who had 14 points and six assists in her second game since returning from a knee injury. "No matter how you get it, it makes you feel good and you try to collect as many as possible. Just as losses can pile up, wins can pile up.''

Among the league leaders averaging 19.5 points and 10.0 rebounds, Charles has scored 49 in the last two games.

Hightower had a team-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting and six assists against the Shock this month.