Connecticut 73, Detroit 62
Sun Regroup, Take Game 1
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Ticker) -- The Connecticut Sun showed the Detroit Shock that the playoffs are very different from the regular season.
Nykesha Sales scored 19 points to lead five players in double figures as the Sun regrouped for a 73-62 victory over the Shock that gave them control of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
"This is a team that has beaten us in the past and we're not taking that for granted," Sales said.
In posting a league-best 26-8 record, the Sun lost three times to the Shock, who won the 2003 WNBA title. Detroit sneaked into the playoffs this year but used a 16-3 run to erase a 43-33 halftime deficit and take a 49-46 lead with 14:25 to play.
Connecticut responded shortly thereafter with an 11-2 surge featuring 3-pointers by Sales and Taj McWilliams-Franklin. A basket by Katie Douglas capped it at 59-53 with 8:28 left.
"We have to keep composure," Sales said. "Detroit is always a team that fights back. They're never going to be down 15, 20 points and stay down 15, 20 points. They're a team that always, always comes back."
A hoop by Lindsay Whalen rebuilt the lead to 71-60 with 2:42 remaining, and the Sun cruised thereafter.
McWilliams-Franklin had 14 points and nine rebounds and Whalen, Douglas and Asjha Jones added 13 points each for the Sun, who reached the WNBA Finals last year, losing to Seattle.
Deanna Nolan scored 14 points and Katie Smith added 13 but combined to make just 10-of-30 shots for the Shock, who shot less than 35 percent (23-of-66) from the field.