The Detroit Shock, who finished with a WNBA-best 25-9 record, became only the second team in professional sports history to post the league's top record one year after posting the league's worst (The Shock were 9-23 in 2002). Back in 1890, the Louisville Colonels baseball team of the American Association was 88-44 after going 27-111 in 1889. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Rockers had a big turnaround of their own in 2003, going 17-17 after finishing last season at 10-22, only one game above Detroit. Helen Darling, who sat out all of 2002 giving birth to triplets, played a key role for the Rockers this year, leading the team in assists.

2004 Regular Season: Seattle Storm 3 - Sacramento Monarchs 1
Some fast facts about the Storm-Monarchs first-round matchup:


Last game - no L.J.

This is the second trip to the playoffs for Detroit, which lost in the first round to Charlotte in 1999, while the Rockers are entering their fourth postseason.
The Shock swept the Rockers 4-0 in the season series behind 18.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg and 3.7 apg from All-Star forward Swin Cash.
Cleveland got much of its production against the Shock from the post, as 6-3 Chasity Melvin averaged 13.5 ppg and 8.5 rpg.
The series features an exciting rookie matchup between Cleveland's LaToya Thomas, who has really developed over course of the year, and Detroit All-Star Cheryl Ford, who finished second in rebounding and joined Chamique Holdsclaw and Lisa Leslie as the only players to average a double-double.


June 5, 2004: Storm 65, Monarchs 63 | Box score

Storm leaders: Sheri Sam (17 pts., 8 asst.), Lauren Jackson (13 pts., 8 reb.)
Monarchs leaders: Yolanda Griffith (20 pts, 11 reb.), Tangela Smith (16 pts., 5 reb.)

July 3, 2004: Storm 75, Monarchs 62 | Box score
Storm leaders: Lauren Jackson (32 pts., 12 reb.), Sue Bird (16 pts., 6 asst)
Monarchs leaders: Rebekkah Brunson (10 pts., 3 reb.), Hamchetou Maiga (17 pts., 4 reb.)

July 15, 2004: Storm 66, Monarchs 63 | Box score
Storm leaders: Lauren Jackson (18 pts., 6 reb.), Sue Bird (14 pts., 2 asst)
Monarchs leaders: Ruthie Bolton (14 pts., 3 reb.), Tangela Smith (8 pts., 6 reb.)

Sept. 1, 2004: Monarchs 73, Storm 65 | Box score
Storm leaders: Betty Lennox (19 pts., 5 reb.), Sue Bird (18 pts., 3 asst.)
Monarchs leaders: Yolanda Griffith (18 pts, 8 reb.), Tangela Smith (14 pts., 5 reb.)