Sun are so short-handed it hurts

Jessica Hill/AP Photo Kelly Faris of the Connecticut Sun gets tangled up with Alexis Hornbuckle of the Phoenix Mercury during Saturday's game at Mohegan Sun Arena. Tonight, the Sun take on Tulsa at 7 p.m.

Mohegan - It's times like this when Connecticut Sun management should light candles in thanksgiving that the WNBA operates under a capped maximum salary number of $107,000.

Because what would the Sun's notable injured trio of Kara Lawson, Renee Montgomery and Tan White command now, given how Connecticut hasn't won a blessed thing this season without them?

None will play tonight when the last-place-in-the-East Sun (2-7) meet the last-place-in-the-West Tulsa Shock (3-10) at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game, once scheduled for 8 p.m. on ESPN2, has been moved to 7 p.m. on ESPN3.

White (broken finger) said after Monday's workout that she's "making progress," but is still two weeks away, most likely. Montgomery (injured ankle) has been out of her boot for a few days, but hasn't started to run and is probably about two weeks away as well. Lawson (bruised bone in her knee) said she's unlikely to play tonight and isn't sure about Saturday night at Indiana either.

"It's hard to say because I have a bone bruise and they heal really slow," Lawson said. "It's a bruise in my kneecap on the back side. When I can play, I'll play. I know that's not a great answer, but when I can do basketball movements I can play. But I can't do them right now."

Lawson, Montgomery and White are the Sun's best perimeter shooters, thus forcing defenses to spread the floor and not run waves at center Tina Charles.

Montgomery, who has missed the last six games, chuckled Monday when asked if she ever realized she was so valuable to the plan here.

"Coach (Mike) Thibault always told me, even before I made the all-star team, that I was a vital piece to this team," Montgomery said. "After the game (Friday) Mistie (Bass) looked at me and said, 'You know what I realize? I don't get easy baskets anymore.'"

Bass alluded to Montgomery's ability to run the pick-and-roll and play in transition.

"It's hard to see your value because it's you," Montgomery said, "But when people are telling you, it's a weird feeling. My teammates have let me know for sure."

The Shock, playing the last game of a four-game road trip, have lost three straight. They are not, however, bereft of talent. Tulsa has 6-foot-8 center Liz Cambage (15 points per game), who recently returned from an injury, forward Glory Johnson (17 points, 10 rebounds), Riquna Williams (13.9 points) as well as Candice Wiggins, Skylar Diggins and Nicole Powell. Tulsa has attempted nearly 300 3-pointers in 13 games.

The Sun have lost four straight and seven of eight.

m.dimauro@theday.com

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