Detroit 80, Sacramento 75

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DETROIT (TICKER) —When the WNBA Finals tipped off last week, Katie Smith was the only player on the court who had not won a championship. That is no longer the case.

Smith scored 17 points, including two clutch jumpers in the final two minutes, as the Detroit Shock claimed their second title with a stirring 80-75 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs.

The Shock, who also won the title in 2003, won the last two games of the best-of-five series and dethroned the Monarchs, who were trying to become the league’s third repeat champion. Instead, Detroit joined Houston (1997-2000) and Los Angeles (2001-02) as multiple championship winners.

Deanna Nolan scored 24 points and was named Finals MVP. Nolan scored 10 points in the pivotal third quarter, when the Shock held the Monarchs to nine points and took the lead for good.

A 3-pointer by Nolan gave Detroit a 68-55 lead before Sacramento made a final charge, closing to 75-69 on a 3-pointer by Sandra Haynie with 2:05 remaining. Smith answered with a 3-pointer 19 seconds later.

A three-point play by Haynie and 3-pointer by foul-plagued Nicole Powell pulled the Monarchs within 78-75 with 33 seconds to play. Sacramento elected not to foul but Smith foiled the strategy by draining a 15-footer with 14 seconds remaining.

Smith grabbed a last-gasp shot and hurled the ball skyward in celebration. She is the all-time leading scorer in women’s pro basketball history and a former WNBA scoring champion, but she never had been on a championship team - until now.

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