Shock-Mystics Preview

The Associated Press

With second-leading scorer Liz Cambage back and Tiffany Jackson-Jones nearing her return, the Tulsa Shock hope to begin working their way up the West Conference standings.

A date with the struggling Washington Mystics might be a good place to start.

The Shock go for their first win on their four-game road swing Sunday when they visit the Mystics, losers of five straight.

Despite falling to 0-2 on its trip, Tulsa (3-9) had reason for optimism with the return of Cambage in an 80-69 loss at Indiana on Friday.

The center finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 18 minutes off the bench after missing eight games with an ankle injury. Cambage, averaging 16.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks, should give the team a much-needed defensive presence inside.

The Shock, last in the West, have a minus-5.6 rebounding differential - the second-worst margin in the WNBA. They're also allowing 83.3 points per game on 47.2 percent shooting - both among the league's worst.

"We've got to step it up on defense and take some pride in our defense," rookie guard Skylar Diggins said.

Tulsa is still waiting on Tiffany Jackson-Jones, who hasn't played because of a stress fracture in her ankle. The forward missed last season due to her pregnancy after leading the Shock with 12.4 points per game in 2011.

According to reports, she's expected to return for Tulsa's next home game July 11 against Los Angeles.

Forward Glory Johnson has stepped up, averaging a team-best 17.8 points and 10.6 rebounds. Johnson, though, looks to bounce back after being held to 11 on 4-of-13 shooting in Friday's loss - her lowest total since the season opener.

Nicole Powell led the Shock with a season-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and has averaged 15.3 over her last four games.

Tulsa may be able to put up some points against a Washington team that has given up 90.4 points per game during its season-worst skid.

Though Washington (4-6) opened the game with a 10-0 run, it allowed an opponent to shoot over 50.0 percent for the third time in four contests Friday in an 86-75 loss at Atlanta.

Monique Currie has totaled 37 points in her last two games after finishing with a team-high 20 on 8-of-11 shooting against the Dream.

"We know how to start games, but we don't know how to finish them,'' guard Ivory Latta said. "That's an area we have struggled with so far this season. It's something we have to correct.''

Latta, the team's leading scorer at 15.9 points per game, will try to break out of her recent slump. She's averaged 9.7 points on 11-of-28 shooting in her last three games.

Latta had a season-high 27 to lead Washington to a 95-90 win at Tulsa on May 27.

Roneeka Hodges had season highs with 22 points and six 3-pointers for the Shock, while Cambage and Johnson combined for 41 and 24 rebounds in that meeting.

Tulsa has lost three straight in the nation's capital.

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