Shock Cruise Past Lynx

Detroit 85, Minnesota 75

AUBURN HILLS, May 22 (AP) -- On a roster filled with All-Stars, Plenette Pierson is emerging as the Detroit Shock's new scoring threat.

The reserve forward scored 12 points on 6-for-6 shooting to help the defending WNBA champs beat the Minnesota Lynx 85-75 Tuesday night and improve to 2-0.

"I'm not looking to jump-start the offense - my mind-set is always defense,'' said Pierson, who scored 22 points in a season-opening victory against Sacramento. "But we have so many great scorers that the other team isn't paying much attention to me, and my teammates have been able to get me the ball.''

Deanna Nolan, who led the Shock with 21 points, said Pierson has key.

"She's been real big,'' Nolan said. "She's given us some great bench production, and she gets our defense going.''

Seimone Augustus led Minnesota with 19 points, but it wasn't enough to keep the young Lynx from their second straight 0-3 start. Minnesota is starting two rookies and have three more on the bench.

"It's a learning process, but we're going to have to learn fast,'' Augustus said. "This league really doesn't give you much time to figure it out.''

On a night when All-Stars Swin Cash and Katie Smith didn't have a first-half field goal, Nolan and Pierson kept the Shock in the game, combining for 26 first-half points.

"We started real slow, but then we picked it up,'' Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "A lot of it is just execution. We have to start getting to the right spots at the right time.''

Cheryl Ford added 15 points for Detroit, and Cash had 11.

Nicole Ohlde and Amber Jacobs had 14 points apiece for Minnesota. Lindsey Harding, the first pick in April's draft, finished with eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

"If you take away Detroit's free throws, they scored 62 points, and 38 of them were in the paint,'' Minnesota coach Don Zierden said. "That's a big difference. That's what you take away from this game.''

Detroit started slowly, falling behind by as many as eight points while missing nine of its first 12 shots.

The Shock rallied to tie the game at 23 by the end of the opening quarter, then outshot the Lynx 63 percent to 29 percent in the second to take a 48-40 halftime lead.

Detroit got even better in the third quarter, hitting 73 percent from the floor, including a combined 6-for-7 from Cash and Smith.

"I think our defense picked it up,'' Nolan said. "Plenette came in and we were able to run and get some fast breaks.''

That put the Shock up 71-53 going into the fourth, and they were never threatened in the final period.

Detroit Pistons star Rasheed Wallace attended the game, one night after the Pistons' victory over Cleveland in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals.