Sun 82

(13-7, 5-5 away)

Shock 88

(13-6, 8-0 home)

    7:30 PM ET, July 8, 2008

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    CONN 24 21 16 2182
    TUL 19 23 21 2588

    Top Performers

    Connecticut: L. Whalen 20 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast, 4 Stl

    Tulsa: D. Nolan 16 Pts, 5 Reb, 8 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Sun-Shock Preview


    The Connecticut Sun and Detroit Shock are two of the top teams in the WNBA and only a half-game separates them in the Eastern Conference standings, but neither club has played well of late.

    The conference rivals face off Tuesday in Detroit as both teams look to get back on track.

    Connecticut (13-6) has the best record in the WNBA while Detroit (12-6) is tied with San Antonio for the second-best mark in the league. However, both teams have failed to put together a consistent stretch recently, with each splitting their last 10 games.

    The Sun, who will look to hand the Shock their first home loss in eight games this season, fell 81-74 to Indiana on Saturday. Asjha Jones scored 20 points while Lindsay Whalen added 18 for the Sun, who opened the fourth quarter on an 8-1 run to pull within three points with 4:07 remaining but went cold after that.

    Connecticut is the WNBA's third-highest scoring team at 80.1 points per game with Jones leading the way with 16.6 points a contest. She's averaged 20.3 in the last four.

    This is the third and final time these teams will meet during the regular season. They split two meetings in June with each winning at home. Detroit held Connecticut to its second-fewest points of the season in a 70-61 victory on June 26.

    Deanna Nolan told the Shock's official Web site that Detroit recognizes the importance of winning the season series, especially if the teams meet in the postseason.

    "If push comes to shove in the playoffs, you always want to have that advantage of not having to go on the road (for Game 3)," she said.

    Detroit is coming off a 79-72 overtime loss to the Silver Stars last Tuesday. Katie Smith scored 17 points and added nine assists while Kara Braxton had 16 points off the bench.

    Nolan had a chance to win it in regulation but her jumper with a second left bounced off the rim.

    "Our team played with a lot of heart. We're a little banged up right now," coach Bill Laimbeer said. "We also have Cheryl (Ford) and Plenette (Pierson) out there on one leg for us and they still did well for us tonight. We played with heart and had a chance to win."

    While the Shock were relieved to have an extended layoff, they are aware that they have to come out quickly against the Sun.

    "(The break) was nice because of the little nicky-knack injuries a few players have, so that gave them a couple days to help out the healing process and rest a little bit," Nolan said. "At the same time, we know we're coming in after a week off playing against a team that's (in the) No. 1 spot we're trying to get."

    The Shock are the WNBA's only undefeated team at home this year, averaging 82.6 points in Detroit compared to 76.5 on the road.

    Including playoffs, Detroit has won seven straight at home over the Sun.