Nolan’s Franchise-Record 44 Lead Shock in OT Win

Detroit 98, Minnesota 93

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., June 20 (AP) -- Deanna Nolan isn't expecting to be in Beijing in August for the Olympics. Both the United States and Russia might regret that decision.

Nolan scored a franchise-record 44 points, including 28 in the fourth quarter and overtime, and the Detroit Shock remained unbeaten at home with a 98-93 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Friday night.

"That was fun to watch, and we needed every point of it,'' Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "She carried us on her shoulders tonight.''

After not being selected for the U.S. team, Nolan was a candidate to play for Russia, but Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Silver Stars is expected to beat her out.

"I'm just saying 'Oh well,''' Nolan said. "It's nothing that I can let myself get mad about.''

Nolan has struggled for most of the WNBA season after injuring an ankle while playing professionally in Russia in the offseason. Detroit's light schedule in recent weeks has allowed her to get healthy. Nolan scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, including nine in the final 33 seconds of regulation.

"I'm still playing her too many minutes, but this is as good as she's looked all year,'' Laimbeer said. "She made every big shot we needed tonight.''

Nolan forced overtime by making three free throws with 4 seconds to play.

"There was a little pressure there, but I'm a pretty good free throw shooter,'' she said.

Even after her scoring heroics, Nolan could have ended up as the goat when she fouled Anna DeForge on a 3-point attempt with 8.1 seconds left in overtime and Detroit leading 96-93.

With Nolan watching from the bench after fouling out, DeForge missed all three attempts.

"We missed free throws all night - if we make our free throws, it doesn't come down to those free throws,'' Minnesota coach Don Zierden said. "We just didn't execute.''

Nolan had 36 points at the end of regulation, tying her own team record, then added eight in the overtime. She fell three points short of the league record of set by Diana Taurasi of Phoenix in 2006 and matched by Seattle's Lauren Jackson last season.

Seimone Augustus had 26 points for Minnesota, which has lost five of six after a 5-0 start.

"Deanna Nolan was the difference in the game,'' Augustus said. "We need to improve our defense, because when you have players like her who can score so many points, we need to acknowledge that and come up with a strategy to defend her.''

The Shock played at home for the first time since June 4 and are 5-0 there. The Lynx led 16-13 after the first quarter, but the Shock scored 29 points in the second to take an eight-point halftime lead.

Minnesota was within 57-56 at the end of the third quarter, and the teams traded the lead several times early in the fourth.

The Lynx took a 72-66 lead with 4:56 left with an 8-0 run that ended with Candice Wiggins' length-of-the-court pass to Charde Houston for a layup.

Minnesota still led by seven points with 1:05 to go, but Nolan had 11 points in the final 65 seconds.

"When you are scoring like that, you almost get tunnel vision,'' she said. "I've had hot streaks like that before, but never one where I scored that many points.''

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