Lynx-Shock Preview

The Associated Press

The Minnesota Lynx's deficit in the Western Conference will likely keep them from lingering too long on a major victory.

Maya Moore is confident her club can avoid a letdown when it begins a two-game road trip Saturday night against the Tulsa Shock.

Minnesota (21-6) avoided a damaging blow in its drive for first place in the West by ending Phoenix's 16-game winning streak with a 75-67 victory Thursday. The Lynx limited the Mercury to 36.8 percent shooting in their season-high eighth consecutive win.

Minnesota, which shot 37.7 percent, also outrebounded Phoenix 48-33 and had an 11-2 advantage on the offensive glass.

The victory cut the Lynx's deficit to Phoenix to 1 1/2 games with seven remaining. They'll try to cut it down further while earning their 18th win in 19 matchups with the Shock (10-18) and 10th in a row in Tulsa.

The Mercury host Indiana on Saturday night.

"I think this team is poised and experienced enough to be able to come from an emotionally high game like (Thursday) to bringing that same emotion on the road," Moore said. "I'm confident we'll be ready."

Minnesota has won all three meetings with Tulsa this season, beating it twice during the eight-game run. Moore, leading the league with 24.1 points per contest, is averaging 34.3 and 11.0 rebounds while shooting 58.3 percent in the three matchups.

The WNBA's second-leading scorer, Shock guard Skylar Diggins (20.6 ppg), has gone 12 of 40 from the field in the last three games. She was 4 of 16 and scored 14 points in an 85-75 loss to Atlanta on Thursday, which ended Tulsa's two-game win streak and three-game run at home.

The Shock dropped 2 1/2 games behind Los Angeles for the final West playoff spot with six remaining, but took some solace in their effort against the East leaders.

''We were right there with them. We competed," center Courtney Paris said. "At the end of the day, you want to win and it hurts not to win. But you can look at the development and know that it is one of the best teams in the league."

Odyssey Sims had a team-leading 22 points and is averaging 24.0 and 53.0 percent shooting in her past five games. The rookie made 11 of 31 from the field over the last two meetings with the Lynx but still totaled 33 points.

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