Sharp Start Puts Shock Within a Game of Title
Shock 69, Silver Stars 61

Associated Press
Saturday, October 4, 2008

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 3 -- Katie Smith scored 22 points and the Detroit Shock built a big lead in the first quarter, then hung on to defeat the San Antonio Silver Stars, 69-61, on Friday and take a 2-0 lead in the WNBA Finals.

Game 3 in the best-of-five series is Sunday at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Mich., where Detroit will try to wrap up its second title in the last three years.

Deanna Nolan and Kara Braxton added 12 points each for the Shock, which led 19-2 less than six minutes into the game.

Becky Hammon went 11 of 12 from the foul line and had 24 points to lead San Antonio.

The Silver Stars tied the game with 3 minutes 26 seconds left in the third quarter on a pair of free throws by Hammon, and she put San Antonio ahead 45-44 with 1:46 left in the quarter on another pair of free throws.

Plenette Pierson answered with a reverse layup, and Smith followed with two free throws that gave Detroit a 48-45 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Rookie Is MVP

Candace Parker received the WNBA's most valuable player award, becoming the first player to win the award along with the rookie of the year honors. The Los Angeles star was unanimously selected rookie of the year.

The awards capped a big run for Parker, who was college player of the year last season for national champion Tennessee. Parker also was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. team in the Beijing Olympics.

Parker edged Connecticut's Lindsay Whalen and Seattle's Sue Bird in the MVP race.

"You know, Coach [Michael] Cooper set this goal for me early on, and I looked at him like he was crazy," Parker said. "He's like, 'We're going to win the rookie of the year, and you're going to win a championship and you're going to win the MVP.' I just looked at him like, 'That's what you expect of me already?' "

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