Mystics-Shock Preview

The Associated Press

Coming off another narrow defeat, the last-place Tulsa Shock are trying to stay upbeat.

The Washington Mystics endured a disappointing slide of their own before finding a way to get it done last time out.

Tulsa looks to avoid a fourth consecutive loss as it hosts Washington on Saturday night.

After suffering back-to-back 78-76 defeats to Connecticut and Indiana, the Shock (7-13) fell 91-85 to Minnesota on Thursday. Skylar Diggins had 21 points, a season-best 12 assists and five steals, but Tulsa allowed the Lynx to shoot 55.0 percent.

Glory Johnson added 17 points and 12 rebounds while Odyssey Sims also scored 17.

While the Shock are last in the Western Conference, they are still in contention for the fourth and final postseason spot with Los Angeles and Seattle.

"We're getting there," said coach Fred Williams, whose team has dropped six of seven. "We just have to keep tough. Everybody seems to be knocking each other off so we still have a chance at a playoff spot."

The Mystics (8-12) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 72-65 win over Chicago on Wednesday, improving to 1-1 on their five-game road trip. Bria Hartley led the way with 16 points while center Emma Meesseman added 12 and 12 rebounds.

Washington led by as many as 13 with just over five minutes to play before letting up a bit down the stretch.

"We held on for dear life," said coach Mike Thibault said. "We missed the same shots in the fourth quarter that we were making the whole game."

The Mystics are seeking a third straight win over the Shock after sweeping last year's series. Ivory Latta totaled 42 points for Washington while Diggins was held to 11 on 5-of-20 shooting.

Latta is averaging 12.5 points at home compared to 8.8 on the road, where she's shooting just 31.5 percent. She finished with nine points and went 1 of 10 from the floor against the Sky.

Diggins, averaging 21.4 points and 5.5 assists to rank among the WNBA's top five in both categories, was selected to start in next weekend's All-Star game. The second-year standout is shooting 45.0 percent from 3-point range in Tulsa's wins compared to 28.3 percent in its defeats.

While the Shock are averaging an impressive 82.4 points, they've given up a WNBA-worst 83.5 per contest. The Mystics, meanwhile, are shooting a league-low 27.8 percent from beyond the arc.

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