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Monarchs Pummel the Shock

From the Associated Press

The Sacramento Monarchs made wide-open three-point shots, drove for easy baskets and challenged a lot of shots on defense.

The defending champions put together an all-around performance and hurt the Detroit Shock with a record-breaking start in the WNBA finals.

Kara Lawson scored 22 points, Nicole Powell had 21 and DeMya Walker had 17 -- each reaching career playoff highs -- to lead Sacramento past Detroit, 95-71, Wednesday night in Game 1, breaking finals scoring records for a half and a game.

“Everybody is coming out there with a vengeance. I’m not really surprised with my team,” Powell said. “It’s really special when everybody steps up their game.”

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Lawson made six of eight from three-point range, surpassing the finals’ record and Powell went four for seven from there.

Sacramento and Detroit combined for a finals-record 166 points, beating the 161 points Detroit and the Sparks scored in 2003.

Sacramento scored a record 53 points in the first half, and led by 15. The Monarchs closed well and broke Detroit’s record of 83 points in the title-clinching victory over the Sparks in 2003.

Cheryl Ford led the Shock with a career playoff-high 25 points, but Swin Cash was scoreless and Ruth Riley had only two points.

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WNBA finals

Best-of-five series; all times Pacific (*if necessary):

SACRAMENTO VS. DETROIT

* Game 1: Sacramento 95, at Detroit 71

* Game 2: at Detroit...Friday, 4:30 p.m.

* Game 3: at Sacramento...Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

* Game 4: at Sacramento*...Wednesday, 6 p.m.

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* Game 5: at Detroit*...Sept. 9, 12:30 p.m.


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