Shock rout Fever, force deciding Game ThreeSep 2, 2007 - 8:30 PM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Facing elimination, the Detroit Shock sent a message that they will not let their title reign slip away easily.
Deanna Nolan scored 24 points and Swin Cash added 12 and nine rebounds as the Shock crushed the Indiana Fever, 77-63, on Sunday in Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals.
The deciding Game Three, with a berth to the WNBA Finals on the line, will be played here Monday night at 6 p.m.
Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was not handing out plaudits for his team's dominating effort.
"Been here, done that before. All we've done is do what we're supposed to do and that's win our home games," Laimbeer said. "We played all year long for the opportunity to win and home and we did that tonight and we have another game at home.
"Indiana had their opportunity to win the series tonight, we didn't, we had to survive, we did that."
Detroit overpowered Indiana on the boards, using an overwhelming 44-22 rebounding advantage and the scoring of Nolan to rally from a 20-16 first-quarter deficit.
"They're a great rebounding team. They led the league in rebounding," Indiana's Sheri Sam said. "We just have to get (Cheryl) Ford off the boards, I think Swin was attacking the boards. They went back and watched film and they attacked us and did what they do best, which is attack the boards."
Nolan scored 13 points in a 21-2 second-quarter run that pushed the Shock into a 37-22 lead with 3:38 to play in the half. She finished with 15 points in the second quarter as Detroit took a 41-32 halftime advantage.
"I don't know why but we love playing with our backs against the wall. Push comes to shove, everyone shows up," Nolan said. "I think I took it upon myself to be more aggressive, looking for my shot a little more, trying to get to the basket, looking for other teammates. ... We rebounded great today. We attacked. Everyone was aggressive across the board so that's what got us our lead."
With the Shock still holding a nine-point lead at 43-34, Cash scored six straight points to spark a 25-5 spurt as Detroit built an insurmountable 68-39 cushion.
Cash had 10 points in the run and just missed her first double-double of the postseason.
"Anytime that you struggled or are going through something, it's always good to have your teammates' support," Cash said. "They just kept telling me to be aggressive and that's what I did."
The Fever, who managed just six rebounds in the first half, inched within 73-61 on Tan White's jumper with 2:35 to play but got no closer.
"We played at a pace in the third quarter especially," Laimbeer said. "We played at a pace that was spectacular to watch both defensively and in the transition game. It was unsustainable for the pace we were playing at. We got into a natural lull. When you get a big lead, that's human nature.
"I'm not concerned about that. What I am concerned about is coming tomorrow with the same energy and the same focus and the same passion that we had today."
Katie Smith scored 14 points and reserve Plenette Pierson just missed a double-double with 11 and nine boards for the Shock.
Anna DeForge had 13 points and Tamika Whitmore added 12 for Indiana, which finished as the No. 2 seed to Detroit's No. 1 in the regular season.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy to come into Detroit and win. They're the champions from last year and until somebody knocks them off, they're still the champions," Fever coach Brian Winters said. "They're playing at home, we knew they'd come back and play a better game today than they played the other night in Indianapolis. But tomorrow's a new day. We just have to rebound the ball better and play better against their zone."
DETROIT 77 FINAL
Sep 2 3:16 PM
WNBA END 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
INDIANA 20 12 15 47
DETROIT 16 25 27 68 END 3RD QTR
WNBA INDIANA AT DETROIT
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 3RD QUARTER
IND - TAMIKA WHITMORE 12, SHERI SAM 10, ANNA
DET - DEANNA NOLAN 24, SWIN CASH 12, TWO
PLAYERS WITH 10
Sep 2 2:46 PM
DETROIT 41 HALFTIME
Sep 2 2:00 PM
WNBA END 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
INDIANA 20 20
DETROIT 16 16 END 1ST QTR
WNBA INDIANA AT DETROIT
HIGH SCORERS AFTER 1ST QUARTER
IND - TAMIKA WHITMORE 8, ANNA DEFORGE 5, TULLY
DET - KATIE SMITH 6, PLENETTE PIERSON 4, THREE
PLAYERS WITH 2
Sep 2 1:32 PM
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