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Peak Performer: Deanna Nolan

"She was just too much for us," Indiana coach Brian Winters told the Associated Press about Shock guard Deanna Nolan.
D. Lippitt/Einstein/NBAE/Getty Images

In contention for their second straight championship, the Detroit Shock have demonstrated both their mental toughness and athletic talents thus far in the 2007 WNBA Playoffs. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Shock faced the Indiana Fever. The series went to three games and this week's Peak Performer, guard Deanna "Tweety" Nolan, put Detroit on her back to ensure her team's place in the Finals.

Game 1 against the Fever tipped off in Indiana. While Detroit struggled to defend superstar Tamika Catchings, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds on the night, Nolan still fired away for Detroit. She scored 13 points and helped distribute the ball with a game-high six assists. Although the team fell short, losing 75-65, Nolan's performance kept Indiana in a state of fear for Game 2.

Back in Detroit for Game 2, it was do or die for the Shock, as they were one loss away from elimination. And Indiana started strong, finishing the first quarter with a 20-16 lead. But Nolan led Detroit back with a vengeance in the second quarter, scoring 15 points and hitting all five of her shots from the field. By the end of the game, Tweety had become Indiana's worst nightmare. She ended with a game-high 24 points and six assists. Nolan's performance saved Detroit from elimination as the Shock earned a 77-63 victory over Indiana.

Early in Game 3, it looked like the Fever might be in position to steal Detroit's Eastern Conference crown, jumping out to a 13-point first-quarter lead. But Nolan was not about to let up without a fight, and she scored 20 points in the next 14 minutes to pull the Shock back into the game. From there, it was all downhill for the Fever, who lost Catchings to an Achilles' injury in the final minute of the first half. At the end of the night, Nolan went home with an 81-65 victory, another Eastern title and a franchise playoff record for her game-high 30 points.

We tried a lot of things to stop (her), and none of them worked,'' Indiana coach Brian Winters told the Associated Press. "She was just too much for us."

Playing tough and determined, the athletically gifted Nolan was Detroit's most dangerous weapon. For her major contribution in Detroit's back-to-back claim to the Eastern Conference crown, Deanna Nolan is well deserving of this week's Peak Performer honor.

Week 13
Date
Opp
Result
Min
FG
3P
FT
ORB
DRB
TOT
AST
ST
BL
TO
PF
PTS
Sep 03
vs. IND
38
11-21
7-9
1-1
2
5
7
5
0
0
2
0
30
Sep 02
vs. IND
38
8-18
4-5
4-4
0
6
6
6
0
0
2
3
24
Aug 31
@ IND
39
6-19
1-2
0-0
0
4
4
6
1
0
2
4
13
2 - Shock | Mercury - 3
Game 1: DET 108, PHO 100 | Box Score | Video
Game 2: PHO 98, DET 70 | Box Score | Video
Game 3: DET 88, PHO 83 | Box Score | Video
Game 4: PHO 77, DET 76 | Box Score | Video
Game 5: PHO 108, DET 92 | Box Score | Video
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