Scholanda Robinson scores 12 of her 21 points in the third quarter to lead Tulsa past Seattle. Bird and Jackson score 19 and 18 points respectively.
TULSA, Okla. — Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler was reminded Tuesday night of a lesson he has learned well during his seven-year tenure in the WNBA.
Be wary of a team that has something to prove.
Buoyed by Scholanda Robinson’s game-high 21 points and a tenacious defense that forced Seattle into a season-high 26 turnovers, Tulsa rolled to an 84-75 victory Tuesday night before a crowd of 3,697 at the BOK Center.
The loss was the second in the last three days for the Storm (22-4), which was led by Sue Bird’s 19 points and seven rebounds, and marks the team’s first losing streak of the season.
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Seattle had a franchise-record 13-game winning streak snapped Sunday in a 72-71 road loss to Minnesota.
The nine-point loss to the Shock (5-22) matches Seattle’s largest of the season — an 84-75 setback to Chicago.
Meanwhile, the win snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Shock and a string of nine consecutive home losses. Before Tuesday night, Tulsa had not won at home since June 4 in a 92-79 victory against Minnesota.
“One thing I have learned in this league is that the hungrier team generally wins,” Agler said.
“We went a long stretch of being hungry. Now, for whatever reason, we have lost that.”
The Storm’s season high in turnovers exceeded its 24, which also came against the Shock, in the Storm’s 83-72 victory June 27 in Tulsa.
“Tulsa played very aggressively on defense tonight,” Agler said
“They were real active. They got in our passing lanes and challenged us. It’s an area we have to get better at.”
Seattle committed 13 turnovers in each half and, despite seven first-half three-pointers, trailed by seven at halftime.
After Lauren Jackson’s two free throws tied the score a sixth time at 41 with 40 seconds to go before halftime, two big plays resulted in a 7-0 Tulsa run to end the half.
First, Amber Holt drained a three-pointer from the right wing with 19 seconds remaining. She was fouled on the shot by Svetlana Abrosimova and nailed the ensuing free throw to complete a four-point play and put Tulsa ahead for good.
Then after two misses by Seattle on its next possession, Kiesha Brown took a long pass, wheeled and tossed up a 30-footer that found the bottom of the net.
Brown’s unlikely bucket gave the Shock a 48-41 advantage at the break.
“Those were two unfortunate plays for us,” Bird said.
“A four-point play. You just don’t see that often. And that (Brown’s) heave was a tough shot. Basketball can be a weird game. But you have to play through those types of things at times.”
Robinson then took over for Tulsa in the third quarter, scoring 12 of her team’s 20 points in the period.
Leading by five early in the third quarter, Robinson converted a conventional three-point play to put Tulsa in front 51-43.
Later she knocked down a three-pointer to ignite a flurry in which the 5-11 guard scored nine of Tulsa’s final 10 points of the third quarter. The outburst gave the Shock a 68-59 advantage entering the final period.
Jackson had 18 points. Tanisha Wright scored 15 and Swin Cash 13 for Seattle.
Ivory Latta had 15 points and seven assists for Tulsa, and Tiffany Jackson scored 11 points.
Seattle returns home to meet Connecticut on Thursday.
Shock 84, Storm 75
Percentages: FG .448, FT .933. Three-point goals: 9-21, .429 (Bird 3-3, Wright 2-3, Willingham 1-2, Abrosimova 1-3, Cash 1-3, L.Jackson 1-4, Vesela 0-1, Little 0-2). Team rebounds: 5. Team turnovers: 26 (25 PTS). Blocked shots: 3 (L.Jackson 2, A.Robinson). Turnovers: 24 (Cash 7, L.Jackson 5, Bird 4, Little 4, Abrosimova 2, Wright 2). Steals: 9 (L.Jackson 3, Wright 3, Bird 2, Abrosimova). Technical fouls: None.
Percentages: FG .463, FT .893. Three-point goals: 9-18, .500 (S.Robinson 2-3, Holt 2-4, Latta 2-5, Brown 1-1, Crossley 1-1, McCants 1-3, J.Lacy 0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Team turnovers: 17 (21 PTS). Blocked shots: 4 (McCants 2, Ohlde 2). Turnovers: 16 (S.Robinson 6, Ohlde 5, Black 2, T.Jackson 2, Latta). Steals: 14 (S.Robinson 4, Latta 3, Crossley 2, Brown, Holt, T.Jackson, J.Lacy, Ohlde). Technical fouls: None.
|Seattle||19||22||18||16 — 75|
|Tulsa||18||30||20||16 — 84|
Attendance: 3,697 (7,479). Time: 2:03. Officials: Lamont Simpson, Ginter Felicia, Jeff Smith.