WNBA Finals: Weary Shock Take A Day Off

By David Goricki
Updated: September 7, 2007

AUBURN HILLS — Coach Bill Laimbeer rewarded the Shock on Thursday with a day off.

It was well deserved — and much needed — after Detroit defeated Phoenix, 108-100, in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday at The Palace.

It was the fourth game in six days for the Shock.

Plus, the day off gave All-Star forward Cheryl Ford more time to rest her sore left knee.

Ford (cartilage damage) missed the final 13 games of the season. After playing in six straight playoff games, she did not play Wednesday.

Still, rest is all Laimbeer and Co. are willing to enjoy right now.

“Bottom line, we haven’t done anything yet,” Laimbeer said. “We have done what we are supposed to do win our home games.”

But, they also frustrated the Mercury.

Phoenix had its nine-game winning streak stopped. All-Star guard Diana Taurasi was in foul trouble from the start.

Taurasi had more fouls (four) than points (none) in the first half. She finished with 10 points in 22 minutes, fouling out with 1:58 left.

“Yeah, we were pretty frustrated out there. But it’s a five-game series, so we’ll be ready come Saturday,” she said. “It isn’t easy to play when you have six fouls on the bench.”

Shock guard Katie Smith was one of the reasons Taurasi was in foul trouble. Smith, aggressive from the start, finished with 22 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter. The Shock set a WNBA Finals record with 108 points.

“We’re going to keep attacking and make them guard us,” Smith said. “We just want to go out and take care of business and win our home games. Being up 2-0 instead of 1-1 going into their place would be big. Phoenix is tough at their place.”