Published August 21, 2011
| Associated Press
TULSA, Okla. – Candace Parker's big second half sent the Tulsa Shock to the longest losing streak in WNBA history.
Parker scored 16 of her 23 points after halftime, and the Los Angeles Sparks ran off 16 straight points to overcome a 15-point, second-half deficit and hand the Shock their 18th consecutive loss, 73-67 on Sunday night.
The Atlanta Dream lost 17 in a row in their inaugural season of 2008.
"We weren't happy with the way we played in the first half," Parker said. "I won't say it was jet lag, because we played with more energy in the second half. We just didn't play well. We need to come out with defensive intensity to match our intensity on offense."
DeLisha Milton-Jones added 15 points and Kristi Toliver had 14 for the Sparks. WNBA career scoring leader Tina Thompson scored all of her eight points in the second half.
Parker attempted just six shots in the first half but heated up after intermission, driving to the lane with ease. The former Tennessee star combined with Thompson for 17 third-quarter points and keyed a 16-0 run that lasted into the final period.
"We needed this one," Thompson said. "We haven't won too many on the road. I don't concern myself with that, but we needed this one to get going if we want to make the playoffs."
For the first 22 minutes of the game, Tulsa took advantage of the jet-lagged Sparks, who played in Minnesota on Saturday and flew to Tulsa on Sunday, building a 39-24 lead with 7:01 to play in the third stanza.
The Shock shot 66.7 percent from the field in the first period and looked like anything but a 1-23 team.
Sheryl Swoopes and Jennifer Lacy combined to go 9 of 11 from the field in the first half, but neither was much of a factor after intermission. Swoopes finished with 17 points, her most since she scored 17 against Phoenix on June 11, 2008.
But the Sparks outscored the home team 38-20 over the final 17 minutes to post just their fourth road victory of the season.