Diggins' Heroics Give Shock Third Straight Win

Friday, June 13th 2014, 11:16 pm
By: News On 6

To put it lightly, Skylar Diggins struggled mightily in her first WNBA season last year.

Sure, there were moments of brilliance for the No. 3 overall pick, but she averaged just 8.5 points per game and shot a miserable 32.8 percent from the field.

This season has seen a complete transformation for Diggins and Friday night's game against Los Angeles was the latest installment of Diggins' rise from the ashes of last year.

Diggins' jumper with 1.9 seconds left was the difference against the Sparks, as the Shock won its third straight game, 69-67.

After dropping the first five games of the year, Tulsa has begun to put the pieces together and is showing the potential a team loaded with young talent possesses.

Diggins scored 22 points to lead all scorers, the seventh time in Tulsa's eight games she has scored in double figures. Jordan Hooper scored 12 points and Glory Johnson had 11 points.

Candace Parker scored 18 points and Nneka Ogwumike had 17 to lead the Sparks.

Statistically, there wasn't much reason to think Tulsa won the game. The Shock shot just 35.6 percent compared to 43.3 percent for Los Angeles. The Sparks made two more free throws but shot just 15-of-22 from the charity stripe. Tulsa shot just 4-of-17 from 3-point range, but Los Angeles missed its only attempt from deep, giving the Shock a 12-point edge that proved to be the difference.

The Shock also had 13 more shot attempts than the Sparks, courtesy of 13 offensive rebounds. Courtney Paris dominated the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds, eight of those on the offense end. Tulsa also did a great job of taking care of the ball, turning the ball over just six times.

In a game that featured 13 lead changes and 12 ties, Tulsa went ahead midway through the third period on Diggins' basket for a 47-45 lead. Los Angeles fell behind by seven before rallying to tie the score on Jantel Lavendar's basket with 3:50 to play.

The Sparks took the lead three minutes later on two free throws from Parker, but Diggins tied the score on the very next possession with a layup.

A wild scenario followed with two jump balls in the span of two seconds with Tulsa ultimately gaining possession and setting the stage for Diggins' heroics.