Nolan scores 30 as Shock advance to WNBA FinalsSep 4, 2007 - 1:09 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Deanna Nolan gave the Detroit Shock a chance at a second straight WNBA title.
Nolan scored 30 points to match a franchise single-game playoff record and lead the Shock to an 81-65 win over the Indiana Fever in the third and final game of the Eastern Conference Finals on Monday.
"She is just so fast and quick and she can elevate her jump shot like no one else in the WNBA," Indiana coach Brian Winters said. "When she gets into a zone, no one can stop her. She was in a zone."
Nolan was 11-of-21 from the floor, including 7-of-9 from 3-point range, and Cheryl Ford added 15 rebounds for Detroit, which improved to 7-0 when facing playoff elimination in the last two seasons.
The Shock will face the Phoenix Mercury starting Wednesday night in the WNBA Finals.
Nolan scored 11 points and was the only Detroit player to sink a field goal in the first quarter, as the team shot a dismal 4-for-14 from the field and trailed, 20-14.
"I took it upon myself to at least get some shots up, get to the basket and at least get something going," Nolan said.
However, the Fever went cold in the second quarter, shooting 4-of-16, and Nolan scored nine points to help the Shock take a 35-30 lead at the half.
Katie Feenstra, who was the first Shock player other than Nolan to make a basket when she grabbed a rebound and made a layup with 6:56 left in the first half, scored five points in the period - as did reserve Plenette Pierson.
Indiana was forced to play the second half without the services of two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings - and Detroit took advantage.
The Fever scored the first six points after intermission and was not challenged thereafter. Six straight points by Katie Smith, three on a shot from the arc, pushed the edge to 69-50 with 7:20 remaining.
"By the end of the day, we're strong willed, we're tough minded, we play hard-nosed basketball and we win at home," Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said. "That's what we did today. We had some great performances."
Catchings, who was averaging 17.6 points in five postseason games, left the floor with a right Achilles strain with 43.2 seconds left in the first half.
Tammy Sutton-Brown led Indiana with 17 points.
DETROIT 81 FINAL
Sep 3 8:12 PM
DETROIT 57 END, 3RD QTR
Sep 3 7:45 PM
DETROIT 35 HALFTIME
Sep 3 7:02 PM
DETROIT 14 END, 1ST QTR
Sep 3 6:28 PM
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