- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 12, 2008

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) | Katie Smith scored 23 points and Cheryl Ford added 14 in the Detroit Shock’s 79-66 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night.

Smith went 7-for-9 on 3-pointers to help the Shock (14-6) take a one-game lead over Connecticut in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference. Detroit will play at New York on Saturday.

“Any win right now is nice, but especially with a big game coming up tomorrow,” said Smith, who tied a franchise record with seven 3-pointers. “They play a lot of zone, and that means I’m going to get some good looks. Tonight I was able to knock them down.”

Rookie Tasha Humphrey added 12 points for the Shock, and Plenette Pierson followed with 10.

“Hanging on to a lead all night isn’t exactly our M.O.,” Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said. “I’d like to start doing this as often as possible.”

Coco Miller had 15 points in a reserve role to lead Washington. Monique Curry was the only starter to reach double figures with 13 points.

“I think we played hard in spurts, but we need to come out and play hard the entire 40 minutes,” Miller said. “We need to be more consistent.”

Detroit scored the game’s first nine points and led by 18 early in the second quarter, but Washington got back into the game in the third.

The Mystics got as close as 46-38 midway through the period, but missed three chances to narrow the gap further. Smith then hit a 3-pointer to move Detroit’s margin to 11, and the Shock pulled away to improve to 9-0 at home.

“We lost a little focus there, but that happens to every team,” Ford said. “It is always awesome to win a game, plus we are the only team that’s still undefeated at home, and we didn’t want to lose that.”

The Mystics committed 19 turnovers, leading to 26 points by Detroit, and they only dished out 11 assists.

“When we have 20 turnovers, we have no chance of winning,” Washington coach Tree Rollins said. “We had unforced turnovers, and we didn’t get good looks at the basket, and that bit us hard.”

Detroit All-Star Deanna Nolan left the game late in the third quarter due to a bruised left leg and didn’t return.

“She’s OK,” Laimbeer said. “She’s a little banged up, and we just didn’t think it was worth getting her back in the game at that point.

Silver Stars 82, Dream 74

SAN ANTONIO | Becky Hammon scored 26 points, Sophia Young had 25 points and 11 rebounds and San Antonio rallied for a victory over Atlanta.

Vickie Johnson had 10 points and eight rebounds for San Antonio, which won its seventh straight game.

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