Sacramento 95, Detroit 71
Monarchs Set Several Records, Roll Past Shock in Game 1
AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Aug. 30 (Ticker) -- If the Sacramento Monarchs still are not getting the respect they deserve, they are two wins away from making it a non-issue.
Kara Lawson led a balanced attack with 22 points as the Monarchs posted an impressive 95-71 victory over the Detroit Shock in Game 1of the WNBA Finals.
The Monarchs can move to the brink of their second straight championship when the teams reunite here Friday night.
Cheryl Ford scored 25 points and Katie Smith added 21 for Detroit, which is seeking its second title in four years. The Shock certainly will not get there committing a Finals-record 24 turnovers as they did Wednesday.
Sacramento officially took charge of the contest with an 8-0 run during the third quarter that turned a 13-point lead into a 61-40 bulge with 6:09 to play. Powell ignited the surge with a 3-pointer and Griffith made a pair of baskets before Ticha Penicheiro capped the run with a free throw.
The Shock got within 76-62 midway through the fourth quarter, but Lawson came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers as the Monarchs extended their cushion to 91-71 with 2:57 remaining.
Lawson finished 6-of-8 from the arc, setting a Finals record for made 3-pointers. Powell connected on 4-of-7 attempts as Sacramento finished 10-of-19 from long range.
Powell, Walker and Lawson scored eight points apiece as the Monarchs took a 26-20 lead after one quarter. Griffith added seven in the second period to help Sacramento to a 53-38 halftime advantage.
Teams winning Game 1 of the WNBA Finals have gone on to win the championship in six of the previous nine seasons.