Mercury win first WNBA championshipSep 16, 2007 - 11:21 PM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- The Phoenix Mercury's WNBA championship is historic for several reasons.
Penny Taylor poured in 30 points and Cappie Pondexter added 26 as the Mercury defeated the Detroit Shock, 108-92, in the decisive fifth game of the WNBA Finals on Sunday.
In addition to capturing the first championship in franchise history, the Mercury became the first team in WNBA history to secure a title on the road. This from a squad that failed to even make the playoffs a year ago.
Phoenix head coach Paul Westhead also made history as he became the first coach to win both a WNBA and NBA championship. Westhead guided the Los Angeles Lakers to a 4-2 series win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1980 NBA Finals.
Phoenix set the tone early opening up a 30-17 lead by the end of the opening quarter. Behind Taylor's 18-point first half effort, the Mercury went to halftime holding a 55-43 advantage.
Facing a Detroit team in search of back-to-back titles, Phoenix continued its aggressive play in the third quarter and used an 8-0 run to open up a commanding 65-46 advantage.
Detroit closed the gap to 90-79 with just over four minutes remaining in regulation but Pondexter and Diana Taurasi, who scored 17 points, provided key baskets down the stretch to preserve the victory.
Deanna Nolan had 27 points and Katie Smith contributed 18 for the Shock, who were seeking their third title since 2003.
DETROIT 92 FINAL
Sep 16 6:53 PM
DETROIT 64 END, 3RD QTR
Sep 16 6:22 PM
DETROIT 43 HALFTIME
Sep 16 5:41 PM
DETROIT 17 END, 1ST QTR
Sep 16 5:07 PM
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