Smith tops career with title for Detroit

Published September 10, 2006

DETROIT - Katie Smith has won Olympic gold, an American Basketball League title and scored 5,000 points as a pro. But her Hall of Fame resume lacked one element: a WNBA title.


Smith scored 17 points and had two crucial baskets in the fourth quarter to seal the Shock's 80-75 victory in the decisive Game 5 against the defending champion Sacramento Monarchs. It was Detroit's second WNBA title in the past four years.

Deanna Nolan was the series MVP after a 24-point performance Saturday, but it was Smith who was getting all the attention.

"This one is special," said Smith, 32, who scored in double figures in four of the five games in the series. "When you are younger, you think you'll get chance after chance after chance, but now I know that's not how it works."

Smith hurled the ball high in the air as time expired Saturday, and the party was on at Joe Louis Arena, where the game was played because of a scheduling conflict with a Mariah Carey concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

Sacramento looked like it would win two championships in a row. It took a 44-36 halftime advantage on Kara Lawson's running jumper with one second remaining.

But Nolan scored 10 points during a game-changing 18-3 run to open the second half.

Nicole Powell drained a 3-pointer to draw the Monarchs to within 78-75 with 33 seconds to play.

But Smith answered with a 17-foot jumper.

"It's over," she said she was thinking. "It's finally over."