The Detroit Shock shook off the absence of their interior star and held off the run-and-gun Phoenix Mercury in a wild 108-100 victory in Game 1 of the WNBA Finals on Wednesday night. The defending champs struggled to get back to the finals, squeaking past New York and Indiana in the East and figured to have trouble with Phoenix, which hadn’t lost in the playoffs. And without Ford, the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player and the heart of the team, what chance did they have? A pretty good one, as it turns out. Plenette Pierson and Kara Braxton roared off the bench, combining for 45 points and 22 rebounds, and provided the kind of intimidating inside play for which Ford is known. WNBA: Post player’s absence doesn’t keep Detroit from claiming Game 1 win. By Mike Householder THE ASSOCIATED PRESS AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – No Cheryl Ford, no problem. Detroit outrebounded Phoenix, 48-30, and scored often on putbacks and other high-percentage shots. The Shock’s bench outscored Phoenix’s, 50-12. “Obviously, a good win for us a man down. That was a magnificent contribution from our bench,” said Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer, who found out Wednesday morning that Ford wouldn’t be able to go. He said he hopes to have Ford available for Game 2. “Right now, we’re hoping she’ll play Saturday, but we won’t know until the morning of the game at the earliest,” said Laimbeer, a former Palos Verdes High star. Four other players scored in double figures for the Shock, whose point total was the highest in Finals history. It also was the highest-scoring game ever in the finals. Penny Taylor scored 32 points and Cappie Pondexter had 27 to lead the Mercury, who struggled when All-Star Diana Taurasi missed significant stretches of the game with foul trouble. Taurasi, who averaged 20 points in the Mercury’s first four playoff games and 25 during the regular season, was held scoreless in the first half. She scored a quick nine points in the third before being whistled for a loose ball foul with 5:37 to go in the quarter. The contact on Detroit’s Katie Smith resulted in Taurasi’s fifth foul and she sat on the bench for the remainder of the quarter. Taurasi fouled out with two minutes remaining in the game. She finished with 10 points in 22 minutes. ETC.: Seattle Storm forward Lauren Jackson won the second MVP award of her WNBA career. Jackson, who also won in 2003, led the league in scoring for the third time with a career-best 23.8 points per game and also led the WNBA with a career high of 9.7 rebounds per game.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Monday in seven northern and central California counties swamped by weeks of storms and flooding. More heavy rains loomed in the forecast. The counties are Amador, Calaveras, Fresno, Merced, San Joaquin, San Mateo and Stanislaus. In his declaration, the governor wrote that “extreme peril to the safety of persons and property” afflicted those regions following the rainiest March on record, and an unusually wet early April. The declaration effectively means that Schwarzenegger was convinced the counties cannot recover without state help. It does not set out specific actions or dollar figures on aid, but directs “all agencies of the state” to dispatch staff, equipment and facilities. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!