No Shocker: Detroit wins third title in six seasons

No Shocker: Detroit wins third title in six seasons

No Shocker: Detroit wins third title in six seasons
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) -Katie Smith missed almost the entire second quarter because of foul trouble. Cheryl Ford has been out since the summer with a knee injury. And the Detroit Shock had to play in a college gym half the size of their regular home court.

In the end, none of it mattered.

The Shock overcame all of that in winning their third WNBA title in six seasons on Sunday, beating the San Antonio Silver Stars 76-60 in Game 3.

Detroit swept the league's best regular-season team, winning the clincher at Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center, a venue forced upon them because of a scheduling conflict.

For Smith, the finals MVP, the win meant a league championship less than two months after she and her U.S. teammates took gold in Beijing.

''Everybody battles on this team,'' she said.

Smith was lifted from the game with time running out as coach Bill Laimbeer emptied his bench to the ear-splitting delight of the crowd.

A few minutes later, she was sprinting back on to the court with her teammates to celebrate yet another championship as confetti rained down.

Detroit became the second team in league history to win a third championship. Only the Houston Comets, who won the first four (1997-2000), have more. Los Angeles (2001, 2002) is the only other team with more than one.

It was an especially sweet win for the Shock, who let the 2007 title slip away, losing it at The Palace to the Phoenix Mercury. They also lost Ford - a stalwart on the previous title runs - in July.

Sunday's game was tight for three quarters with San Antonio leading by six on several occasions. But the veteran Shock were too much to take in the fourth with the title on the line.

The Shock enjoyed a 49-45 lead after three periods, and they quickly extended it to 55-47 on Taj McWilliams-Franklin's one-hander off the glass less than 4 minutes into the fourth.

A pair of free throws by McWilliams-Franklin only seconds later gave the Shock their first double-digit lead of the game.

Then Smith sealed it.

She hit a long jumper and then drained a high-arching 3 that made it 62-47 and sent the crowd into a frenzy.

It might not have been The Palace and its seating capacity of more than 22,000, but the cozy Convocation Center and its 9,000-plus seats served as a fine home-court advantage for Detroit - which won all three postseason games here.

One sign in the stands said simply: ''Not in our rental unit.''

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