AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- The Detroit Shock have been starting
five All-Stars since late last season.
The lineup finally started to pay dividends Wednesday night.
All five starters scored at least 11 points and the Shock picked
up their first win of the season, beating the Minnesota Lynx 78-69.
"The most dangerous teams are the ones that don't have one
person to focus on," forward Swin Cash said. "We have that
element to our team."
Last season, after acquiring Katie Smith from the Lynx to
complete the all-All-Star lineup, the Shock barely made the
playoffs and were eliminated in the first round.
They started this season by blowing a late lead at Indiana
before Wednesday's home opener.
"We still have a few things to clean up," Detroit coach Bill
Laimbeer said. "But I thought we did a very fine job tonight."
Laimbeer, who is also a broadcaster for the Detroit Pistons,
thinks the two teams have a lot in common.
"Our starting five is a lot like the men's team here," he
said. "We've got a lot of scoring options. Some nights it will be
Cheryl Ford, some nights it will be Katie Smith or Swin Cash or
Because of the NBA playoffs, Wednesday was one of only two home
games in Detroit's first eight contests. The Shock didn't even get
to play on their own floor, as the Pistons' court is still in place
for the Eastern Conference finals.
"This was important, because it was our home opener," Ford
said. "Bill keeps telling us that if we win all our home games,
we'll be WNBA champions again."
Minnesota's Seimone Augustus, the No. 1 pick in April's draft,
scored 10 points in the first half before limping back to the
locker room with an ice pack on her left ankle. She started the
second half, but was obviously struggling and sat out most of the
"I just tweaked it," she said while wearing an ice-filled
boot. "It's fine. I just missed a couple shots that we needed to
Lynx coach Suzie McConnell Serio, though, didn't think her star
rookie was at 100 percent.
"She wasn't herself in the second half," she said. "She
couldn't get going, but she's always going to be a big focus for
us. There's no doubt about that."
Ruth Riley and Cash each added 14 for the Shock, while Nolan had
13 and Smith had 11.
Augustus led Minnesota (0-2) with 15, while Adrian Williams and
Kristen Mann added 12 each.
"We need to find a way to win," McConnell Serio said. "We
just don't have the experience right now."
The Shock only led 42-41 early in the third, but Ford had seven
points in a 9-0 run that gave Detroit a double-digit lead.
Megan Duffy's layup at the third-quarter buzzer pulled the Lynx
within 59-50, but the Lynx couldn't narrow the gap until Augustus
returned and hit a pair of jumpers to cut the deficit to 68-64 with
4:41 to play.
Detroit, though, scored the next seven points, capped by a Smith
3-pointer that put the Shock up by 11 with 3:10 to go.
Members of both the Pistons and Miami Heat, including Dwyane
Wade and Chauncey Billups, attended the game on the night between
Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.