New York 75, Detroit 62
Liberty Put on Downtown Art Display
DETROIT, Sept. 24 (Ticker) -- Becky Hammon and the New York Liberty made the basket look big from the arc.
Elena Baranova scored 17 points and Crystal Robinson 15 for the Liberty, who shot 56 percent from the arc (9-of-16). Baranova and Robinson each made 2-of-2 3-point attempts.
The defending-champion Shock went just 2-of-4 from the arc, making both in the final few minutes with the game out of hand.
"I thought we executed our game plan very well, but we also got lucky," Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "We hit a lot of shots and they missed a lot."
New York held a 38-33 lead at the break and pulled away in the second half thanks to fine shooting from the perimeter. Hammon's back-to-back 3-pointers made it 71-54 with 3:29 remaining and Detroit got no closer than the final score.
Deanna Nolan scored 20 points and Cheryl Ford added 14 and 14 rebounds for Detroit, which was playing at Joe Louis Arena instead of The Palace at Auburn Hills because the latter venue was hosting an ice show.
"I think we probably should have mixed up our defense in the second half and given them a different look," Nolan said. "They hit all those threes down the stretch and it just killed us."
New York was playing its first playoff game since losing in the 2002 final to Los Angeles.
"I think our team is embarrassed by what happened tonight," Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "We did not get the effort we expected, and that was disturbing. We knew we were going to have to win road games to win the East this year. Now we will have to do it twice in one series."