SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 10 (Ticker) -- Ticha Penicheiro didn't need crutches. Kara Lawson and her Sacramento Monarchs teammates carried her to the WNBA Finals.

Lawson scored 13 of her 18 points during a hot-shooting first half as the Monarchs rolled to a 74-65 victory over the Houston Comets and a two-game sweep of the Western Conference Finals.

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The Monarchs reached the Finals for the first time in franchise history. They will face the Connecticut Sun in the best-of-five series beginning Wednesday.

Lawson started both games against the Comets in place of Penicheiro, Sacramento's point guard and floor leader who suffered a badly sprained left ankle in practice Tuesday. She needed crutches to watch from the sidelines Thursday but could have played Saturday if she was needed.

Lawson made sure she was not needed, making 5-of-5 shots in the first half, including three 3-pointers. The Monarchs shot a blistering 70 percent (19-of-27) and opened a 44-30 halftime lead over the Comets, who shot just 35 percent (11-of-31).

A pair of 3-pointers by Sheryl Swoopes pulled Houston within 54-48 with 11:40 to play. Lawson answered with a 3-pointer to reverse the momentum, and Sacramento remained in control thereafter.

Yolanda Griffith scored 19 points and DeMya Walker added 13 off the bench for the Monarchs, who shot 53 percent (29-of-55). Walker made all five of her shots and Kristin Haynie was 4-of-5.

Swoopes scored 24 points, Tina Thompson added 13 and Janeth Arcain 12 for the Comets, who shot under 40 percent (25-of-63) and were outrebounded, 36-25.