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By MATT BECKER, STATS Writer

For the second straight series, the defending WNBA champion Detroit Shock are facing an early elimination game. The Indiana Fever believe they're the ones with the added pressure, though.

The top-seeded Shock look to even up the Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece when they continue their best-of-three series with the Fever on Sunday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Indiana won Game 1 75-65 at home on Friday, and is one victory away from its first trip to the WNBA finals.

Detroit swept the Fever in the first round of last year's playoffs en route to its second championship in four years. Now, the Shock must win at home on Sunday and Monday to have a chance to repeat.

Detroit also lost Game 1 of its first round series with New York before rallying to win two straight at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Shock, who finished with the East's best regular-season record (24-10), went 12-5 at home.

"We need to make sure we take care of business," Indiana's Tamika Catchings said. "To an extent, I feel like we need to play with our backs against the wall or have that mentality. Detroit has been in this situation before, and they know how to win.

"I know they're going to be ready. They're going to come Sunday and probably play lights out. That's an expectation we need to have."

Catchings had 22 points and 11 rebounds in Game 1 to set a franchise record with her fourth consecutive double-double. She is averaging 20.3 points and 14.3 rebounds in four playoff games.

Tamika Whitmore scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench Friday, and is averaging 19.5 points and 7.3 boards in the postseason.

"Big-time players are going to make shots. Tamika Catchings and Tamika Whitmore are both big-time players," Detroit's Plenette Pierson told the team's official Web site. "You can't stop them from scoring. They're going to score their points, you just have to minimize how many points they score and how many rebounds they get."

Pierson, the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year, scored a team-high 19 points and had 10 rebounds on Friday, but was 8-for-21 from the floor as the Shock's shooting woes continued.

Detroit shot 39.7 percent from the field and made just 8-of-17 free throws (47.1) in Game 1. The Shock shot 38.4 percent in the first round, the lowest of the eight playoff teams.

They opened Game 1 just 2-for-9 from the floor, and were down 15-6 eight minutes into the contest.

"I think that's going to be the key the rest of the series, is us coming out aggressive, from the locker room, timeouts, throughout the game," Pierson said. "It's a 40-minute game and we have to play aggressive for 40 minutes."

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