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Smith mystifies Mystics with passing skills in Shock win

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Katie Smith has spent the last decade
building a Hall of Fame-caliber career with her shooting.

Now, at age 32, the leading scorer in American women's pro
basketball history has had to change roles.

Smith had her best game as a point guard on Saturday, finishing
with 17 points and a career-high nine assists as the Detroit Shock
beat the Washington Mystics 92-86.

"I feel good about running this team," said Smith, who took
over the point after Elaine Powell went to Chicago in the expansion
draft. "It was just a matter of getting enough repetition."

Detroit (8-4) has won four straight overall and is 5-0 at home
this season. The 92 points were its most since a 95-86 victory in
Seattle on Aug. 17, 2003.

"You could see this coming for the last few games," Shock
coach Bill Laimbeer said. "Our key players have been shooting
well, and we've been moving the ball."

The Mystics (7-5) have lost two in a row.

"I wasn't expecting that kind of score with their defense,"
Washington coach Richie Adubato said.

Swin Cash had 19 points, and Nolan and Ford finished with 18
apiece in a game that saw 11 players, including every starter,
score in double figures.

"There wasn't a lot of defense out there," Smith said. "I
like it when we score like that, but I'd like us to get more stops.
They just hit some tough shots."

Alana Beard led Washington with 20 points, including a
four-point play in the last minute, and Nikki Teasley added 16.

"Beard made every shot, especially at the end, but we really
didn't shoot the ball very well other than that," Adubato said.
"We missed some big inside shots, and Nolan hit a couple big ones
to turn the game around."

Washington shot 50 percent in the first half but led only 43-42.

Cash had seven points in a 13-2 run to start the third, but the
Mystics came right back with a 14-3 surge to take a 61-60 lead late
in the quarter.

The Shock led 65-63 at period's end, and were still up 73-72
with 5 minutes left.

Nolan hit a 3-pointer, then answered Crystal Robinson's jumper
with one of her own, making it 78-74 and Detroit pulled away down
the stretch.

"We have to learn to put people away," Nolan said. "I guess
we just like to make things exciting for the crowd, but this was a
big game against a team that we're battling for a playoff spot."