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Song in Tulsa stays the same in 101-85 loss to San Antonio

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The "Pink Ladies" prepare for battle in Tulsa against the San Antonio Silver Stars.
The "Pink Ladies" prepare for battle in Tulsa against the San Antonio Silver Stars.

"Same song, different tune," head coach Nolan Richardson said after last week's loss to Atlanta. And indeed a different tune was playing on the jukebox last night when the Tulsa Shock fell to the San Antonio Silver Stars.

And although the new color of home uniforms might have made you hope the Pink Ladies were singing to the tune of Grease's "Summer Loving" that was not the case in the 101-85 defeat.

This game went the way of a little Pat Benitar perhaps - hit me with your best shot, fire away...

San Antonio ended the game hitting over 63% of their shots from the floor and missing only four of their 24 free throw attempts, firing away on all cylinders.

Of the shooting barage seen at the BOK, Richardson said, "extraordinary. 63? That's a phenomenal night on anybody's night, whether you guard somebody or not guard anyone. It's hard for us to shoot 63 with nobody guarding us, so that was an incredible night of shooting."

And aside from a solid shooting night, the fact that six Silver Stars reached double-digits was a fact not lost on San Antonio head coach Sandy Brondello.

"We're just getting better at offensive execution and it really came down to making that extra pass and sometimes the ball goes in the hole and that certainly helps," said Brondello. "But we had a really good - six players in double-figures obviously. That makes it hard to guard for the other opponent and we were on our game tonight."

And just like the point-counterpoint of a fugue, Richardson has some words about the lack of defensive presence.

"We're not covering the defensive end like I'd love for us to be doing at this stage in the game," said Richardson. "I think in terms of scoring points, 85 points to me is plenty of points, 75 points is plenty of points where we're just not being able to stop anyone."

For a team that has pointed to the defense as their bread and butter, this loaf in Tulsa has been stale for much of the season. Opponents are putting points on the board at a scorching pace, with seven games reaching the century mark for Shock foes - obviously not enough to be bested by an 85-point Tulsa effort.

But even with the hot hand of San Antonio versus the respectable but not good enough 45% shooting from Tulsa, the Shock were in the game the majority of the way, even though the 16-point margin might not show that.

Richardson has a word for what has been occurring when Tulsa falls out of games unexpectedly - slippage.

"That's just the trademark of what has happened to us in a lot of our ballgames where I call it game slippage. Where our game slipped away at that period," Richardson said, using the 8-0 run to end the first half as an example of a period of slippage. "Everything is rolling pretty good and then all of the sudden you just lose total control either through turnovers, a shot that should have been made, a call that could have gone either way, all those things come into play."

So tomorrow, in about a 36 hour turnaround when Tulsa tips off at Washington, look to see what song is spinning on the vinyl. Will it be "Same Old Situation" with turnovers, shoddy defense, lack of rebounding, sub-par shooting and slippage? Or can the tune change to "At Last" with crashing the glass, ball control, end to end pressure, a hot hand and a win?

Drop your quarter in the jukebox, push the button and listen as the tune plays on the court. And until tip time, I'll be humming along to Tevin Campbell's "Tomorrow" (thanks Q)- a perfect song for the hopefulness of the Tulsa Shock.