GM 2: DET 73, SAC 63 | Box | Video | Postgame
GM 3: SAC 89, DET 69 | Box | Video | Postgame
GM 4: DET 72, SAC 52 | Box | Video | Postgame
GM 5: DET 80, SAC 75 | Box | Video | Postgame
Shock Star Scores 16 Points In Second Half To Key Victory
Katie Smith Leads Shock From The Brink
Detroit -- Katie's Smith's first ever WNBA Finals game was not one to remember. Smith had enjoyed a solid night individually in Game 1, scoring 21 points, including four of six from three-point range, but the Shock had been blown out of their own building in a 95-71 loss to the Monarchs. At halftime of Game 2, things were looking even bleaker for Smith. Her team trailed 42-33, and was looking down the barrel of traveling to Sacramento facing a 2-0 series deficit. Even worse the normally reliable Smith, the all-time leading scorer in women's professional baskeball history, had scored a grand total of zero points, misfiring on her only two attempts.
Commenting on her awkward first half on the offensive end, Smith said "The first half was just weird for myself because I couldn't really get into a flow personally, I thought we had good looks, I just thought we weren't in a flow per se. We have to take a little pressure off of Tweety and Cheryl knowing that I can knock down some shots. I just like to be out there and be aggressive."
Smith said afterward, "We were still down in that stretch, but obviously it put us in a little bit closer range. We have confidence, and we aren't going to give up. I know personally that you might not get back to this position. I haven't been here before, and who knows when I will get back, so I am just going to leave it out there and try my darnedest to help my team. That was a nice little spurt to end the quarter, and we just went back out there and tied that game back up."
Head coach Bill Laimbeer described how Smith's shot affected the team heading into what might have been their final quarter at home this season. "When Katie Smith made the three ball, we basically said you have ten minutes. Ten minutes to protect your home court, to put yourself back in the series. It was great to see that they had a bounce in their step and made a more physical presence."
The fourth quarter was again a huge one for the Ohio State product, as Smith totaled seven points and played the entire quarter, leading a Shock defense that forced the Monarchs into 16.7% shooting and only three field goals. She assisted on a basket by Deanna Nolan that gave the Shock the lead for the first time with 7:43 remaining, as the Shock eventually overtook the Monarchs and built a lead of their own. The highlight of Smith's performance in the final stanza was a final nail in the coffin three-pointer with 2:57 remaining that put the Shock up by nine, equaling the amount of points to which Sacramento was held for the entire quarter.
On the 73-63 victory that evened the series at 1-1, Smith focused more on the team efforts than her own heroics. "Obviously we needed this one. The effort was there, it was better, they still jumped on us early, but we withstood that. We were able to knock down some shots that put us in position to win the ballgame." Coach Laimbeer might have summed it up a little more bluntly, when he said "We made big shots, Katie Smith made a big shot, and she did the Katie Smith thing."
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