Shock Drops Fourth Straight

Associated Press
Monday, July 28, 2008

Bill Laimbeer has seen a lot of strange things in his long basketball career, but nothing quite like the last week.

Laimbeer's Detroit Shock lost four straight games, got national attention for a fight with Los Angeles that cost the team two of its best players, signed 50-year-old Nancy Lieberman and dropped out of first place in the Eastern Conference.

"This is as tough a stretch as we've ever had," the head coach said after last night's 76-64 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars. "We definitely need to regroup right now."

Yesterday's game was the last one before the month-long Olympic break.

"We knew two weeks ago that we really needed the break to get here, and that was before the ceiling caved in," Laimbeer said. "We didn't realize it was going to be this bad."

Becky Hammon, who will play for Russia in the Olympics, scored 23 points, but the key might have been 14 points each from San Antonio centers Ruth Riley and Ann Wauters.

With Detroit's Plenette Pierson suspended after Tuesday's fight and Cheryl Ford out because of a knee injury sustained during the brawl, San Antonio had a 24-16 advantage in points in the paint.

"They definitely missed Cheryl and Plenette," Riley said. "Those are two big presences in their lineup."

· LIBERTY 86, DREAM 76: Shameka Christon scored 24 points and Janel McCarville had 22 points and 10 rebounds for New York in Atlanta. Betty Lennox had 18 points for the Dream.

· SPARKS 92, LYNX 84: Lisa Leslie scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for visiting Los Angeles. Leslie and rookie Candace Parker finished with 23 points each for the Sparks, who were back to full strength after last week's brawl with Detroit led to five player suspensions.

· FEVER 88, MERCURY 84: Tamika Catchings scored a season-high 25 points, including a pair of free throws with 11.4 seconds left, to help Indiana win in Phoenix. WNBA scoring leader Diana Taurasi had 23 points for defending champion Phoenix.

· STORM 77, MONARCHS 71: Sue Bird scored a season-high 24 points and Seattle fended off a Sacramento comeback to end the visiting Monarchs' seven-game winning streak. Swin Cash added 13 points for Seattle and Tanish Wright had 12.

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