By Dan Savage

June 20, 2008: Scoreboard | Video Play of the Day | Today in the WNBA Archive

A few of Fox's buddies dropped by to help him celebrate his second annual Birthday Bash. His wish came true as the Silver Stars edged the Sparks on Friday night.
D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images
No Stopping Nolan in Detroit's OT Win

Shock guard scores 44 in victory: Deanna Nolan has never been afraid to take over a game. In 2006, her 17.6 points per game in The Finals earned her series MVP honors and helped Detroit take home the trophy. But on Friday, Nolan had her best individual performance to date. The eight-year veteran out of Georgia erupted for a franchise-record 44 points to help the Shock pull off an amazing 98-93 overtime win over the Lynx. With the rest of Detroit’s cast struggling down the stretch, Nolan fired off 28 points in the fourth quarter and in overtime to give her teammates the boost they needed. “That was fun to watch, and we needed every point of it,” Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. “She carried us on her shoulders tonight.” Nolan’s electric performance is a positive sign for the Shock. Detroit’s All-Star has struggled this season with an ankle injury that she suffered during the offseason, while playing in Russia. Up until Friday, she had only eclipsed the 20-point plateau twice this season. But this could be a sign that she has turned the corner. Anna DeForge went to the foul line with a chance to tie the game for Minnesota with 8.1 seconds left, but missed three straight free throws.

Mercury's offense at an all-time high: After opening the season a dismal 1-5, the Mercury may have finally turned their ship around. With recent high-scoring efforts from Diana Taurasi and Cappie Pondexter, Phoenix has put on a scoring clinic for the rest of the league. Following a WNBA season-high 102-point performance against the Sun, the Mercury heated up their offense again on Friday. Taurasi exploded for 16 points in the fourth quarter to force overtime and Pondexter scored eight in the extra session to lift Phoenix over Chicago, 112-105. Taurasi finished the contest with 33 points and Pondexter with 31 as the duo became the first teammates to record 30 or more points in a single game twice in WNBA history. The tandem previously accomplished the feat in June 2006. Don't expect any one else to do it any time soon. The only other set of teammates to score 30-plus in a single game is Tina Thompson and Sheryl Swoopes back in 2006.
"It's something we've been working on all season, something we've come to rely on."
-- Seattle guard Sue Bird on the Storm's defense, which forced 22 turnovers and held the Fever scoreless for a 5-minute fourth-quarter stretch in their home victory on Friday.

Cappie Pondexter, Mercury
31 pts, 13-23 FG
112-105 OT win vs. Sky

Candice Dupree, Sky
28 pts, 11-15 FG, 6-7 FT
112-105 OT loss at Mercury

Deanna Nolan, Shock
44 pts, 15-22 FG, 4-8 3-pt FG, 10-10 FT
98-93 OT win vs. Lynx

Nicole Ohlde, Lynx
2-13 FG, 7 pts
98-93 OT loss at Shock

Nicole Powell, Monarchs
2-11 FG, 5 pts
72-56 loss vs. Sun

Tan White, Fever
2-14 FG, 1-7 3-pt FG, 5 pts
78-70 loss at Storm

Saturday's Games ...

  • Comets at Lynx, 8 p.m. ET, NBA TV
  • DeForge

    You could say Asjha Jones and I go back quite a ways. We went to the same high school, attended the same college and now we even work for the same league – ok we didn’t both go to UCONN, but the rest is seriously true. And since I’ve come in contact with her, I’ve always known her to be two things: a winner and a stat-sheet stuffer. Jones lived up to both of those titles on Friday as she notched 14 points, five rebounds, five assists and four blocks to power the East-leading Sun to a 72-56 thrashing of the Monarchs. With her performance in the stat sheets, a few game-winning shots under her belt this season and a top-notch team record to boot, she better soon appear in Adam Hirshfield’s MVP rankings or he’s going to hear from me.
    One thing that’s been lost in the rough innagural season for the Atlanta Dream is strong play of rookie guard Tamera Young. The former leading scorer of the Colonial Athletic Association is already doing damage to opponents in the WNBA. Although many pundits thought she might have a rough transition to the professional game, Young is proving that she is definitely WNBA ready. She continued her hot start on Friday, tallying 11 points, six rebounds and five steals for the Dream. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as Atlanta came up short in Washington, 72-61.