Shock beat Liberty 78-66; NY gets playoff berth
TULSA, Oklahoma—Temeka Johnson scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Tulsa Shock in a 78-66 victory against the New York Liberty on Thursday.
Ivory Latta had 13 points and Amber Holt added 10 as the Shock (9-23) won their third straight. Tulsa matched it’s combined victory total from the first two seasons since relocating from Detroit — 9-59 in 2010-11 — and got its longest win streak since the move.
Johnson shot 10 for 12 from the field, including 4 for 5 on 3-pointers, and also had six assists.
Kara Braxton, Plenette Pierson and Cappie Pondexter scored 14 points apiece to lead the Liberty (14-19), and Essence Carson added 11 points. New York clinched the Eastern Conference’s fourth and final playoff berth minutes later when Chicago lost to Atlanta.
SPARKS 92, LYNX 76(equals)
At Los Angeles, Candace Parker and rookie Nneka Ogwumike had 22 points and 11 rebounds each, and the playoff-bound Sparks closed their regular season with a win against defending champion Minnesota.
Alana Beard added 13 points and Kristi Toliver had 10 points and eight assists for the Sparks (24-10), who won their fourth straight win while splitting the four-game season series with the Lynx in front of Clippers teammates Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan.
Monica Wright scored 19 points, and Devereaux Peters added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Minnesota (26-6), which had won six of its last seven games against the Sparks but fell to 3-19 all-time at Staples Center. Maya Moore had 13 points as the Lynx shot a season-low 35 percent.
DREAM 75, SKY 66
At Rosemont, Illinois, Angel McCoughtry scored 21 points and Sancho Lyttle added 17 as Atlanta eliminated Chicago from playoff contention.
Armintie Price had 12 points and Erika DeSouza grabbed 10 rebounds for Atlanta (19-14), which has secured third place in the Eastern Conference. The Dream never trailed and won their fourth straight and seventh in the last eight.
Carolyn Swords scored 16 points to lead the seventh-year Sky (13-20), who have never made the postseason. Epiphanny Prince added 14, Shay Murphy had 12 and Courtney Vandersloot 10.