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20090621/DETIND
Shock-Fever Preview
By DAN PIERINGER, STATS Writer

The debut of coach Rick Mahorn and the return of All-Star forward Cheryl Ford were spoiled in the Detroit Shock's last game.

Based on the way the Indiana Fever have been playing, the Shock could have a hard time bouncing back as the clubs finish a home-and-home series in Indianapolis on Sunday night.

Mahorn took over the Shock (1-3) on Monday after the unexpected resignation of Bill Laimbeer, who guided the team to three championships in six seasons.

With Ford playing her first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury July 22 of last year, Mahorn probably expected a strong performance from the defending champs. Instead, Detroit shot a season-low 29.5 percent from the field and committed 21 turnovers in the 66-54 home loss to Indiana.

Ford, a four-time All-Star, had seven points and two rebounds while going 3 for 4 from the field in 19-plus minutes.

"I'm not happy, because we lost. I don't like losing," she said. "The first five minutes were a little rough, but then I got things going. I'm just disappointed that we had 21 turnovers. You can't win like that."

Though Detroit looked rusty in its first game since June 10, Mahorn remains confident he can help the Shock defend the title.

"There were mixed feelings (about Laimbeer's departure) - Bill had a great legacy here, and he's left big shoes to fill," said Mahorn, an assistant under Laimbeer for the last five years. "We've got a lot of work to do, but I know we've got the players to contend for another championship."

Mahorn gave credit to the Fever, who also struggled from the field (29.8 percent) but limited their turnovers (12) and went 25 for 28 from the free-throw line.

Indiana (3-2) has won three straight by an average of 10.3 points after dropping its first two. Friday's victory may have been particularly satisfying, because Detroit has knocked Indiana out of the playoffs each of the last three seasons.

"We didn't settle for long shots, we pounded the ball inside and we didn't turn it over," coach Lin Dunn said. "They feed off turnovers, so to only have 12 was key for us."

Tamika Catchings had 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Fever on Friday. The five-time All-Star and two-time Defensive Player of the Year expects a better game from the new-look Shock on Sunday.

"With Cheryl coming back, it is going to take her a couple games to get readjusted - she'll do better on Sunday, I'm sure," Catchings said. "I know they are excited as a team about coach Mahorn taking over, and I'm excited for him. I know he'll be a great coach."

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