The Shock (3-8) didn’t get closer than nine points the rest of the way in losing for the first time in three games.
Glory Johnson scored 24 points and had eight rebounds to lead Tulsa. Former Lynx guard Candice Wiggins had 14, and Nicole Powell had 11, including three 3-pointers.
“That’s a championship level team and I thought we fought them right down until the end,” Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “We got a steal and had a chance to make it eight late in the game. Then, all of a sudden, the thing where you make a mistake and they capitalize happened.”
Reeve had a sense before the game that Whalen would be Minnesota’s sparkplug.
“We spend a fair amount of time before the game talking, re-emphasizing game plan areas, and I thought she had a determination about her in the tone of voice and her approach,” Reeve said. “I thought she willed our team to play the way that we played in that game.
“She was determined to make things happen and create more of a tempo for our team because we thought we got away from that in the last game.”
Whalen, who attempted 14 free throws, shrugged off her coach’s praise.
“I just wanted to come out and be aggressive from the start,” she said. “Maya and Seimone hitting shots were huge, and me getting to the line was big for us. All the things really came through for us.”