AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Detroit Shock coach Bill Laimbeer
believes Deanna Nolan might be the most talented player in the
This season, she's finally living up to that billing.
Nolan scored 27 of her franchise-record 34 points after halftime
Friday night to lead the unbeaten Shock to a 68-66 overtime victory
over the New York Liberty.
"The team knows and the coaches know that Deanna can be the
best player in this league when she wants to play with that level
of energy," Laimbeer said. "We still haven't seen a limit to how
good she can be."
The Shock (4-0), coming off a nine-day layoff after playing
their first three games in a four-game span, came back from 13
points down to beat the Liberty (1-3) for the second time this
season. Detroit won at New York, 78-71 on May 22.
"I thought we had a terrific effort for about 35 minutes," New
York coach Pat Coyle said. "Then we broke down offensively and
Nolan, who had Detroit's first triple-double on May 21, broke
Sandy Brondello's six-year-old team record of 33 points.
"We all know that Deanna is the greatest player in this
league," Cheryl Ford said. "The only thing that is stopping her
Crystal Robinson led the Liberty with 13 points.
New York forced 12 turnovers in the first half on their way to a
28-18 lead. The Liberty extended their lead to 13 at 46-33 with
9:10 remaining before the Shock began their comeback.
Elaine Powell's three-point play cut Detroit's deficit to 48-43
with 5:07 left, but New York scored the next four points from the
free throw line to push their advantage back to nine.
The Shock rallied again, and Nolan's 3-pointer with 32 seconds
left pulled them within 1 at 52-51.
After Elena Baranova hit two free throws with 29 seconds left,
Chandi Jones hit a tying 3-pointer 8 seconds later.
New York turned the ball over with 2.7 seconds left, but Ruth
Riley's shot rolled off the rim as time expired.
Nolan had seven points in Detroit's 9-2 run to start the extra
"You expect great players to make great plays and she did,"
Hammon's 3-pointer with 11 seconds left cut New York's deficit
to 67-64. The Liberty quickly fouled Nolan, who made 1 of 2 free
throws to push Detroit's lead to four.
Hammon made a pair of free throws with 1 second left to close
Nolan's 12 points in the overtime session tied Mwadi Mabika's
league record, set for Los Angeles last season.
"I was just trying to bring us some energy," Nolan said. "The
records are great, because now I have to try to break them."
Chauncey Billups and Carlos Arroyo of the Detroit Pistons and
Damon Jones of the Miami Heat attended the game, one day before
their teams play in Game 6 of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals.