AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Deanna Nolan was the last person to realize she had just joined the WNBA record books.
Nolan notched the fourth triple-double in league history with 11
points, a team-record 11 assists and 10 rebounds Saturday, leading the Detroit Shock to a 78-67 victory over the Connecticut Sun in the season opener for both teams.
She had no idea what she accomplished until she was
congratulated on the arena's public address system.
"When they said I had a triple-double, I was like, 'Who, me?' "
Nolan said. "I'm glad no one had told me I was close -- I might
have started missing shots just to get enough rebounds."
Kara Braxton added 18 points in her WNBA debut, while Ayana
Walker added 14 after only scoring 18 points in the 2004 season.
Walker was starting in place of Swin Cash, who started the season
on the injured list while recovering from a knee injury.
"I knew that we would need a lot of offense from that
position," Walker said. "I just went out and had a great game."
Braxton, the seventh pick in last month's draft, played 14
minutes off the bench just four months after giving birth.
"We told everyone that Kara Braxton is going to be a phenomenal
player," Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said. "She's a monster out
Braxton also impressed her opponents.
"She's a powerhouse," Nykesha Sales said. "I think she's
going to be a great addition for Detroit."
Connecticut's Taj McWilliams-Franklin led all scorers with 25
points, while Lindsay Whalen added 12 and Asjha Jones had 11.
"It wasn't an awful game, but we weren't very efficient
offensively," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "We were
sloppy. I'm disappointed."
Detroit led 41-34 at halftime, but the Sun pulled to 45-44 with
17:07 to play.
The Shock answered with a 13-1 run that included three-point
plays by Nolan and Walker, as well as a 3-pointer by Niele Ivey.
Connecticut got as close as 67-60, but another three-point play
by Nolan started a 5-0 run that put the game away.
"She didn't shoot the ball well at all today, but she went and
did other things," Thibault said of Nolan. "She got steals, she
got deflections, she got rebounds and assists."
Several members of the Detroit Pistons attended the game,
including Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups. ... Two of the
previous three triple-doubles, those by Lisa Leslie (2004) and
Sheryl Swoopes (1999), were against the Shock. The third was by
Margo Dydek in 2001. ... The teams have won the last two Eastern
Conference titles -- Detroit in 2003 and Connecticut last year.