AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ The struggling Detroit Shock traded forward Cindy Brown and guard Korie Hlede to the last-place Utah Starzz on Thursday for forward Wendy Palmer and center Olympia Scott-Richardson.

``We felt we needed additional post help in terms of both depth and strength to have a more defensive presence going into the home stretch,'' Shock coach Nancy Lieberman-Cline said.

The deal was completed shortly before the league's 8 p.m. EDT trade deadline.

Palmer, an original member of the Starzz, is averaging 8.4 points a game this season after averaging 15.8 last year. Her rebounding average has also decreased from 6.6 to 4.2.

Scott-Richardson started the season on the injured list after the birth of her first child and was activated July 12. She has played in four games and had a season-high nine points and seven rebounds Tuesday.

Brown, who has started all 21 games for the Shock, is averaging 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Last year she averaged 11.3 points a game.

Hlede, the fourth overall pick in the 1998 draft, is averaging 8.8 points a game.

Detroit has lost three in a row and is 1 1/2 games behind New York in the Eastern Conference.