Friday night at Neon Uncasville, and TULSA WINS
Well, Friday wasn't dull at Neon Uncasville.
Mohegan Sun Arena rocked in the final minute like it hadn't in a long while. Quite the scene, what with Kara Lawson's go-ahead 3-pointer, and Phoenix's Penny Taylor and Diana Taurasi canning back-to-back 3-pointers to make the crowd sweat in the closing seconds.
More amazing was that Taylor or Taurasi were both guarded pretty well on both shots. Not that it mattered. They're, like, really good.
One thing you may have missed about Lawson's 3-pointer — Ashja Jones' pick up top on Nakia Sanford.
El Sol' s Renee Montgomery was dribbling towards Jones when Sanford stepped out to check Montgomery.
Sanford ended up running into a helluva' pick by Jones, which floored the former.
"Man, that was my good friend, too," Jones said. "It was a clean play and her teammates didn't call the screen. Thank God the referees didn't just see somebody go down and call the foul because sometimes they only see the second part and not the whole play."
It momentarily left Phoenix with just four defenders, and Lawson made a 3-pointer to give Connecticut an 89-86 lead with 43.8 seconds left.
"That was a great pass from Kalana (Greene) to kick it to (Lawson) in the corner," Jones said.
It was quite a way for the Sun (18-10) to ensure a winning season and edge closer to a playoff berth. They need another win, or a Chicago Sky loss, to qualify.
Greene had a season-high 14 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter. She also had four assists, three rebounds, and had the pleasure of chasing the likes of Taylor and Taurasi around the floor.
Tina Charles grabbed her 700th rebound. The second-year center now has 701. She works quickly.
Sanford, for her part, had her best game of the season. She shot 6-of-7 for 14 points and 11 rebounds. She also gave Charles all she could handle down low.
"She played great," Mercury coach Corey Gaines said. "She had a lot of nice dives to the basket. She was fighting Tina and Tina is one of the best bigs in the league, so she did that and that was good and I can't ask for anything more."
Finally, the two teams combined for 43 3-pointers. That's not even close to the WNBA record — Phoenix and the Detroit Shock combined for 58 on July 8, 2007. Detroit won, 111-82.
■ ■ ■ ■
While you were sleeping, the Tulsa Shock ended their long nightmare — it won at Los Angeles late Friday, 77-75.
As Sparks' announcer Larry Burnett said after the game, "Oh. My. Goodness."
The win snapped Tulsa's WNBA-record 20-game losing streak. It hadn't won since June 18 (77-59 over Washington).
Old-hand Sheryl Swoopes brought the ball up with 22 seconds left and cooly made a game-winning jumper with 2.9 seconds left for the Shock (2-25).
Worth noting that Tiffany Jackson played 40 minutes for Tulsa. She shot 7-of-14 for 20 points with 11 rebounds and four assists.
Vaya con dios….
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