Johnson, Sims lead Shock to 80-74 win over Storm
The second-year forward out of Tennessee had 15 points and 13 rebounds for her 15th double-double of the season to help the Tulsa Shock beat the Seattle Storm 80-74 Tuesday night.
"I guess I have to start calling her Ms. Double-Double," Shock coach Fred Williams said. "She's a cross between Dennis Rodman and Charles Barkley."
Johnson, who had 11 defensive rebounds, blushed when told of the comparison to the NBA Hall of Famers by her head coach.
"Was it the color of the hair?" Johnson quipped, referring to Rodman's wild hair fashions.
"We're feeling it out there," she added. "We struggled in the first half but out in the second half with a little more energy. ... Offensively I thought it was a pretty good game for me. Courtney (Paris) and I talked about crashing the boards a little more tonight. That was our goal."
The victory preserved the Shock's playoff hopes. Tulsa began the night three games behind San Antonio and Los Angeles for one of the last two playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Stars beat the Sky and the Sparks played at first-place Phoenix later.
"We talk about taking it one game at a time," Williams said. "We want to be in some type of playoff situation towards the end of the year and that's where we are right now. We just have to keep plugging along, getting better as a team and making everyone individually better."
Johnson said the Shock (10-17) are simply taking the final games of the regular season one at a time.
"It feels great to get two in a row," she said. "We have to keep winning to have a shot at the playoffs. We'll think about the playoffs when the time comes."
Odyssey Sims led the Shock with 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field and Roneeka Hodges added a season-high 16.
Skylar Diggins had 11 points to become the Shock's single-season scoring leader with 564 points, passing Deanna Nolan who set the previous mark of 559 in 2009 when the franchise was still in Detroit.
"I'm from the Midwest and grew up a huge Deanna Nolan fan," Diggins said. "I had no idea I was close to any record. It's nice. It's not something I focus on though."
Diggins entered the game needing seven points to pass Nolan, but struggled to get any offense going in the first half as she was 1 for 5 from the field with four points. Diggins made a 3-pointer to open the second half to break Nolan's mark.
"I couldn't do it without my teammates," Diggins said. "We're all trying to excel and get better. This is just a part of it. We're just getting started. I have many teammates and coaches to thank."
Sue Bird scored 15 points and Tanisha Wright added 14 for Seattle (9-19). Camille Little and Crystal Langhorne had 13 points apiece.
Seattle led early but never seemed able to pull away with a comfortable lead. The Storm took a 36-35 advantage into intermission but Tulsa pushed the tempo in the second half and capitalized with a 27-point third quarter.
Tulsa opened the fourth period with a 64-59 cushion and led by as many as eight down the stretch.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.