Los Angeles Sparks get fourth win of the season with the help of Kristi Toliver’s game winning 3-pointer against Tulsa Shock
Kristi Toliver hits a huge buzzer beater 3-pointer to shock Tulsa giving the Los Angeles Sparks a 76-75 win. This was the teams fourth win of the season and the second straight at home. The team was two points down with six-seconds left on the clock when in a missed free throw attempt by Tulsaâ€™s Karima Christmas that could have sealed the game, Nneka Oguwumike got the rebound and passed it out to Toliver to get the game winning shot.
â€œGood teams just find a way, Toliver I told her in the locker room I said nothing else could have gone wrong for you. She used up all your wrong chips,â€ said Sparks head coach Carol Ross. Ross added, â€œJust for her to keep her head up and have the confidence to take the shot says a lot about her character.â€
Toliver would end the game with 16 points, 5 assist and 6 rebounds in 31:30 of play in the game. Though on the downside she would set a WNBA record with 14 turnovers in a single game.
â€œShe is having to do way to much. I admire the heck out of her because one she is running the hardest position on the court, two your doing it without another true point guard in the house and we are asking her to score points like she is a two guard,â€ said Coach Ross on the play of Toliver throughout the game.
The Sparks would start the game on fire taking the early lead in the first quarter of play. Sparks would score the first 9 points with Tulsa unable to put their first points on the board till the 3:03 into the game. Delisha Milton-Jones who lead the team tied with Toliver as the leading scorer on the team with 16 point and 8 rebounds would help the team with a key three pointer in the first that helped expand the lead.
Then as confidence grew on the team the relaxed play on the court which led to sloppy play on both defense and offense allowed Tulsa to fight there way back into the game. At the half bringing Tulsa to within 4 points of the lead.
â€œWe canâ€™t get happy, We are almost a better playing from behind than in front,â€ said Sparks center Candace Parker. She would add, â€œI feel like when we get a lead we kind of get satisfied, we take possessions off, whether it will be we donâ€™t execute offensively, we go one on one, it is all this things that can happen.â€ â€œWe just have to continue to dominate the game and do it the way we got the lead.â€
By the time the fourth and final quarter would begin the lead would switch with the Sparks being down by 3 points. Tulsa leading scorer Riquna Williams who ended the game with 19 points, 5 rebounds would be shut down only scoring 4 points in the final quarter of play. Both teams played hard to the finish but the Sparks would get the win extending the teams record to 4 wins and only 1 loss in the season so far putting them in second place behind Minnesota.
The Sparks will play again at Staples Center this Sunday, June 3 as they face the Seattle Storm for the third time this season and the second time at home. Game starts at 5:30pm.