The Detroit Shock got their first playoff series victory since winning the the 2003 finals, eliminating the Indiana Fever with a 98-83 victory last night in Game 2 of their first-round series in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The Shock will face Connecticut or Washington in the Eastern Conference finals, starting Thursday. ``I believe that we have the best team in the land," coach Bill Laimbeer said. ``All we have to do now is prove it. Tonight was a big step."
Detroit won despite a record-setting performance by Indiana's Tamika Whitmore, who had 41 points -- including 25 in the second half -- to break Lisa Leslie's postseason record of 35.
Whitmore was 15 of 25 from the floor and 10 for 10 from the line before fouling out with 30 seconds left.
Detroit, which fell 5 points short of Los Angeles's league record for points in a playoff game, had six players in double figures.
Indiana lost All-Star Tamika Catchings for much of the second half when she hit her head on the floor while battling Plenette Pierson for a loose ball.
Catchings returned midway through the final period, but turned the ball over the first time she touched it, and finished with just 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting.
Monarchs 92, Comets 64 -- Yolanda Griffith scored 17 points, Rebekkah Brunson added 14, and host Sacramento advanced to the Western Conference finals with a methodical victory over Houston.
Ticha Penicheiro had seven assists and hit two 3-pointers for the defending champion Monarchs, who won Game 1 of the best-of-three series in Houston before rolling into the conference finals for the fourth straight season.
Sacramento overwhelmed the Comets again with proficient outside shooting and more of its trademark defense.
Sacramento set a franchise playoff record with 24 assists, and committed just six turnovers, tying another postseason best. Sacramento will open the conference finals Thursday against Los Angeles or Seattle.