Final

Shock 80

(23-11, 14-3 home)

    Coverage: ESPN2/WatchESPN

    3:30 PM ET, September 9, 2006

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    SAC 18 26 9 2275
    TUL 17 19 22 2280

    Top Performers

    Sacramento: K. Haynie 13 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    Tulsa: D. Nolan 24 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

    Detroit rallies in second half to capture WNBA title

    DETROIT (AP) -- Katie Smith has won Olympic gold, an American Basketball League title and scored 5,000 points in the pros.

    Entering this season, though, her Hall of Fame resume lacked one crucial element: a WNBA championship.

    Check.

    Katie Smith

    Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

    Katie Smith can scratch WNBA championship off her wish list. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

    Smith scored 17 points and had two crucial baskets in the fourth quarter to seal the Detroit Shock's decisive Game 5 victory, 80-75, over the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs. It was Detroit's second WNBA title in four years.

    Deanna Nolan was the finals MVP after a 24-point performance Saturday, but it was Smith who was getting all the attention after the game.

    "This one is special," said Smith, who scored in double figures in four of the five games of the series. "When you are younger, you think you'll get chance after chance after chance, but now I know that's not how it works."

    Smith hurled the ball high in the air as time expired Saturday, and the party was on at Joe Louis Arena and its announced crowd of more than 19,000 -- the second-highest total in the history of the Finals.

    "Katie's a great, great player and she did just what we expected her to do," Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said. "She could have easily been the MVP, too."

    Shock owner William Davidson, who previously has won the NBA title as Pistons owner and the Stanley Cup as owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, was presented with the WNBA trophy by league president Donna Orender.

    Davidson said he told Laimbeer at the beginning of the season that one of his responsibilities as an owner was accepting trophies. He jokingly added that he was glad Laimbeer got the message.

    The trophy presentation was reminiscent of the glory days of the Pistons with Laimbeer and assistant coach Rick Mahorn standing on the podium as champions.

    It was at The Palace of Auburn Hills, however, that those Pistons and these Shock typically have played. But Saturday's game was held at the home of the Detroit Red Wings because of a scheduling conflict.

    A Mariah Carey concert at The Palace forced the Shock and Monarchs to play 30 miles south in Detroit.

    Deanna Nolan

    Jerry S. Mendoza/AP Photo

    MVP Deanna Nolan averaged 17.8 points, 34 minutes (with two complete games) and shot 45 percent from the field in the Finals. (Jerry S. Mendoza/AP Photo)

    But the fans were plenty loud and helped Detroit continue the trend of the home team winning every deciding game in the 10-year history of the WNBA Finals.

    After the Monarchs decisively won Game 3 at home, the feeling was that they would be able to take the series in Game 4, also at Arco Arena, where they rarely lose.

    But Detroit roared back with a 20-point win Wednesday. Saturday's game was the only one of the series not decided by double digits.

    Sacramento, for a half at least, looked like it would win two championships in a row. It held the lead for the entire second quarter and took a 44-36 halftime advantage thanks to Kara Lawson's running jumper with 1 second remaining.

    But Nolan scored 10 points during a game-changing 18-3 run to open the second half and the Shock never trailed again.

    Nolan, a smooth shooting guard known as "Tweety" -- she even has a tattoo of the famous cartoon bird -- said she was relieved that the Shock pulled it out.

    "It just felt unreal, because we worked so hard and then the moment finally came and we won it all," she said.

    It was title No. 2 for Nolan, fellow All-Star Cheryl Ford, captain Swin Cash and starting center Ruth Riley, who posed for pictures together on the floor after the game with their championship hats on their heads.

    In the locker room, they ran around dumping champagne on anybody and anything they could find. Reserve guard Elaine Powell grabbed Cash's good-luck teddy bear "Shocka" and poured bubbly all over it.

    Another Powell -- Monarchs forward Nicole -- had a much different reaction to the outcome.

    "I'm really angry and upset with the way we played," she said. "Detroit is a good team, but when you give a team those transition shots in the final game of the series, it's very disappointing."

    Nicole Powell refused to give up, draining a 3-pointer to draw the Monarchs to within 78-75 with 33 seconds to play.

    But Smith answered with a 17-foot jumper that she knew would seal the win.

    "It's over," she said she was thinking. "It's finally over."

    In the first half the Shock were outplayed in much the same way they were during decisive losses in Games 1 and 3. But they came on strong when it counted.

    Trailing by eight at the half, Detroit made its first four shots of the third quarter and clamped down defensively, causing Sacramento to miss 17 of its 19 attempts in the period.

    The Monarchs were led by Lawson's 17 points and former Michigan State star Kristin Haynie's 13.

    Haynie, who hails from Mason, Mich., sat in the stands well after the game ended, signing autographs and chatting with family and friends.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

      Sacramento Tulsa
    Points 75 80
    FG Made-Attempted 27-73 (.000) 26-59 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-14 (.357) 4-8 (.500)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-20 (.000) 24-30 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-29 7-37
    Assists 14 20
    Turnovers 10 16
    Steals 11 5
    Blocks 3 7
    Fast Break Points 9 14
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 23 (0/0)