Detroit responds to take series lead from Mercury
Sep 12, 2007, 3:54 GMT
Phoenix, AZ - Katie Smith poured in 22 points and Deanna Nolan added 20 points and 11 rebounds as Detroit erased the memory of a Game 2 embarrassment to seize the series lead with an 88-83 victory over Phoenix in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals.
An entertaining series full of firsts -- the highest-scoring game in finals history during Game 1 and the largest margin of victory in Game 2 -- featured a down-to-the-wire captured by the Shock, who wiped the slate clean after a 98-70 lost on Saturday.
Detroit shot just 43.6 percent from the floor, but turned up the pressure on defense by limiting Phoenix to 34.7 percent shooting and 16.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Diana Taurasi scored 22 points after collecting 30 points in Game 2 and Tangela Smith recorded a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Penny Taylor also notched a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds, as she and Smith grabbed 26 of Phoenix's 47 rebounds.
The series stays in Phoenix, where Detroit has the opportunity to capture its second straight WNBA championship on Thursday night.
Detroit led 30-23 after one stanza and added five straight points in the early moments of the second period to take its biggest lead at 35-23. The Shock held a 50-45 advantage at halftime.
Phoenix drew within three points on two separate occasions during the third quarter, but each time the Shock answered with three-pointers. The first by Smith made the score 58-52 and she buried another after a Taurasi long jumper to push the edge back to six at 61-55.
Detroit's lead was cut to 79-77 in the fourth on Kelly Miller's two free throws with 2:16 remaining. Nolan answered with a three-pointer, but Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter each made one free throw to make the score 82-79.
Pondexter finished with 13 points on 5-of-15 shooting.
The star guard had a look at the tie, but her three-pointer went halfway down and spun out. Detroit handled business from the charity stripe to seize the series lead.
© 2007 The Sports Network