How the Detroit Shock in 2006 Overcame Sacramento and a Mariah Carey Concert to Win the First Game 5 in WNBA Finals History – The Athletic

In 2005, the WNBA switched from a best-of-three format in the final to a best-of-five.

The Sacramento Monarchs were the defending champions, beating the Connecticut Sun 3-1 in the previous finals, trying to become just the third franchise in league history to win back-to-back WNBA titles. Shock was back in the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2003 when they hoisted their first championship in franchise history.

Before Game 5, each game had been settled with 10 points or more. Sacramento won Game 1 by 24 points, Game 3 by 20. Detroit won Game 2 by 10 and Game 4 by 20.

Katie Smith (Shock guard, 2005-09): The scores were out of reach. It was like, “OK, they got this one. They’ve got it. “Of course, stealing someone on the road was crucial for us.

Ruth Riley (Shock forward / center, 2003-06): What (blowouts) did, in an unusual way, gave both teams confidence to enter Game 5.

Plenette Pierson (Shock forward / center, 2005-09): I do not think we worried much or thought much about the difference in scoring. We knew that if we got it back to Detroit, it was pretty much over. We were confident of our city; Detroit comes out to support us. We just had to cope with the weather as the storm went in. The energy had to be there for us.

Deanna Nolan (Shock guard, 2001-09): I do not know if it was home advantage at the time or just needed to be focused. We are in the final. There were a lot of defensive breakdowns that we don’t usually do that added in some of those blowouts.

Swin Cash (Shock forward, 2002-07): Although the matches up to Game 5 were won significantly, it never felt like it was that far away because we respected the team and knew they had the ability to win matches.

Like the Pistons, the shock also played at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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