Nolan keys fourth-quarter rally to lift Shock

WASHINGTON(AP) Deanna Nolan helped the Detroit offense put it all together in the fourth quarter.

Nolan scored 23 points, including the basket that put the Shock ahead for good, and they had 35 points in the final quarter to rally past the Washington Mystics 81-77 Tuesday night.

"Deanna Nolan is a big key for our offense,'' Detroit coach Rick Mahorn said. "If she's rolling, so does our offense.''

Taj McWilliams had 17 points and 13 rebounds, rookie Shavonte Zellous added 16 points, and the Shock (9-11) won for the third time in four games. Detroit's loss in that stretch was a four-point defeat last Friday at the Verizon Center.

"In the previous game there were rebounds that we should have gotten that they stole and certain possessions that we could have been up two or three points with a minute or two left in the game,'' Nolan said. "(In the last seconds this time) we had a good rebound by Taj McWilliams and the putback that kept us in the lead.''

Detroit made 10 of 14 from the field (71 percent) in the fourth quarter while rallying from a 12-point third-quarter deficit. Nolan hit both of her shots and a free throw.

Nolan's 15-foot jumper from near the top of the key with 1:29 left gave Detroit a 72-70 lead. The Shock never trailed again.

The Shock rebounded from a 53-41 deficit late in the third quarter.

"We weren't worried,'' Nolan said. "We were hitting shots. It was just a matter of getting those stops. We were in an offensive rhythm ... attacking, getting to the basket, getting to the free-throw line.''

McWilliams then made five key free throws and the putback in the final 1:13.

Alana Beard scored 17 points to lead the Mystics (11-11), who dropped into a tie with Atlanta for third place in the Eastern Conference - one-half game behind Connecticut.

"We gave up 46 points in the first three quarters and 35 in the fourth,'' said Washington coach Julie Plank. "I think we have to have a sense of urgency to get stops. This team is a little bit fragile. There's been games that we've had leads and held on to them and made big plays down the stretch.''

Calendar Strip here