Hello from Target Center, where I'll attempt to keep a chain going of successful pinch hitters for Lynx writer Roman Augustoviz.

We're a few minutes from tip-off; on paper, this matchup between the Lynx (20-4) and Tulsa Shock (6-19) looks like a blowout waiting to happen. Minnesota was won seven consecutive games and has defeated Tulsa with ease in all four previous meetings this season.

But a strange thing is happening lately with the Shock -- namely, Tulsa is winning. After a dismal 3-18 start, the Shock is 3-1 in its past four games. That includes back-to-back victories over Atlanta and Los Angeles, the latter coming in Tulsa on Thursday. In that game, guard Ivory Latta had 21 points and an eye-popping 14 assists to lead the way.

Translation: Maybe the Shock won't be quite the pushover as in previous games, when Minnesota took victories by 20, 21, 15 and 24 points.