Sun 82, Shock 80
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP)
Two days after getting a contract extension, Kara Lawson showed why the Connecticut Sun were eager to keep her for a few more years.
Lawson scored 19 points, including a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner with 11.8 seconds left in overtime to give Connecticut an 82-80 win over the Tulsa Shock on Tuesday night.
Lawson, who signed a three-year extension on Sunday, also had four rebounds and four assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Sun (17-5).
Renee Montgomery scored 16 points and Tina Charles, battling a sinus infection, had 13 points and eight rebounds for Connecticut. Allison Hightower added 12 points and Mistie Mims had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
.Temeka Johnson had 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds for the Shock (3-18) and Jennifer Lacy scored 14. Roneeka Hodges and Ivory Latta scored 13 points each and rookie Glory Johnson had a game-high 15 rebounds.
Connecticut trailed 80-79 with time running out in overtime when Lawson got open.
''They were really loading up on the strong side,'' Lawson said. ''Put everybody in the paint, so weakside, especially the corner, a lot of times is where the open player was if you can reverse it and get it there.''
Sun coach Mike Thibault said, ''Kara doesn't have any fear. Great players want to take big shots.''
Latta missed a 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds left in overtime and Hightower grabbed the rebound to end the game.
''We had a couple of chances,'' Tulsa head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. ''It was a hell of a game. I feel bad for our kids. They've been battling all year. We've been in a lot of close games. We just haven't been able to finish against the really good teams.''
Temeka Johnson's layup gave Tulsa a 79-78 lead with 18.2 seconds left in overtime. It was just the fifth basket of that period.
The Shock had a chance to win in regulation, but Kalana Greene's putback with 13 seconds left tied the game at 74-all.
''The ball was kind of bouncing loose, and (Greene) got it and put it in,'' Kloppenburg said. ''We come up with that ball, we're probably going to win the game. They have to start fouling us.''
Latta missed an 18-foot jumper in the final second as the game went into overtime.
Tulsa trailed by three points with less than 3 minutes left when Amber Holt made a contested pull-up jumper to cut the deficit to one point.
Over a minute later, Hodges was left wide-open in the left corner. She made a 3-pointer to push the Shock ahead 74-72 with 1:41 left in regulation.
Hodges made three 3-pointers in the first 6 minutes to give the Shock a 15-8 lead.
There were 13 lead changes. Connecticut had the largest advantage, 40-32, with seconds left in the first half.