Fever 83

(21-13, 9-8 away)

Shock 98

(23-11, 14-3 home)

    Coverage: ESPN2/WatchESPN

    6:00 PM ET, August 19, 2006

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    IND 20 14 30 1983
    TUL 18 20 25 3598

    Top Performers

    Indiana: T. Whitmore 41 Pts, 10 Reb, 1 Stl

    Tulsa: S. Cash 17 Pts, 9 Reb, 8 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Shock overcome Whitmore's 41, eliminate Fever 

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Bill Laimbeer has never been shy about saying his Detroit Shock is the most talented squad in the WNBA.

    For the first time in three years, his team may be ready to back him up.

    The Shock got their first playoff series victory since winning the the 2003 finals, eliminating the Indiana Fever with a 98-83 victory Saturday night in Game 2 of their first-round series.

    "I believe that we have the best team in the land," Laimbeer said. "All we have to do now is prove it. Tonight was a big step."

    Detroit won despite a record-setting performance by Indiana's Tamika Whitmore. Whitmore had 41 points -- including 25 in the second half -- to break Lisa Leslie's WNBA postseason record of 35.

    "Without Whit, we wouldn't have even been competitive tonight," Indiana coach Brian Winters said. "She scored from every spot on the floor."

    Whitmore was 15-of-25 from the floor and 10-for-10 from the line before fouling out with 30 seconds left, but didn't get much enjoyment out of the record.

    "If I ever have children or grandchildren, maybe I'll tell them about it," said Whitmore, who signed with the Fever as a free agent in March. "But I have a lot left to do -- I came to Indiana to win a WNBA title."

    Detroit, which fell five points short of Los Angeles' league record for points in a playoff game, had six players in double figures. Swin Cash, who only scored two points in Game 1, had 17 points, nine rebounds and eight assists Saturday.

    "I knew I had to be aggressive tonight, because that's when I'm at my best," Cash said. "Not just shooting, but finding shots for my teammates. That's how you have to play in the playoffs."

    Indiana lost All-Star Tamika Catchings for much of the second half after she hit her head on the floor while battling Plenette Pierson for a loose ball.

    Catchings returned midway through the final period, but turned the ball over the first time she touched it, and finished with just 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

    "I would have never jeopardized Tamika's health if she wasn't able to play, but I don't think she was 100 percent when she went back in, either," Winters said.

    The Fever led 64-63 going into the fourth quarter, but with Catchings on the bench and center Ebony Hoffman in foul trouble, Whitmore was left alone against the Shock's deep front line.

    In the final period, Detroit forwards Cash, Pierson and Cheryl Ford combined for 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Indiana only had 19 points and seven boards as a team.

    "When Catch went down, you could see that Detroit was going to try to ram the game down our throats," Whitmore said. "In a situation like that, both teams are going to try to win by any means necessary."

    Like Whitmore, Hoffman eventually fouled out. The Shock attempted 40 free throws in the game to Indiana's 21.

    "Forty to 21 is about all you can say," Winters said. "Every time Ebony went near Ford, it was a foul. She played 22 minutes. If she's allowed to play 30 or 35, it's a different game."

    Ford led Detroit with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Pierson scored 20 off the bench. The pair combined for 16 points in a 21-8 run to start the final period.

    "We were very aggressive in the fourth quarter, and it paid off," Laimbeer said. "We attacked at all times, because we wanted to put this series away.

    There were six technical fouls in the game, including a pair of double technicals for shoving incidents, and Pierson stayed on the floor for several moments after being hit by a Whitmore elbow with 4:30 left in the game.

    "It was a very physical game," Winters said. "We played hard and did a lot of good things, but Detroit is a powerful team. They are a force to be reckoned with."

    The Shock will face either Connecticut or Washington in the Eastern Conference finals, starting Thursday. The Sun lead the series 1-0 after a 76-61 road win on Friday.

    "Everyone expected a Detroit-Connecticut final in the East," Laimbeer said. "We're there. We'll see what happens in the other series."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Indiana Tulsa
    Points 83 98
    FG Made-Attempted 32-69 (.000) 35-68 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 6-16 (.375) 2-6 (.333)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-21 (.000) 26-40 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 17-38 14-34
    Assists 11 24
    Turnovers 18 10
    Steals 6 7
    Blocks 3 4
    Fast Break Points 0 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 35 (2/0) 19 (2/0)