Nolan leads Shock to verge of playoffs

AUBURN HILLS, MI – Deanna Nolan scored 34 points to lead Detroit to a 94-87 victory over the New York Liberty on Thursday night, helping the defending champion Shock clinch a playoff spot.

The Shock (17-16) continued their late-season surge, winning for the eight time in their last 10 games to move one-half game behind second place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference. Detroit, which began the season 9-14, secured a post-season berth when Chicago beat Indiana.

Essence Carson scored a career-high 28 points for New York (12-21), which lost its fourth straight. The Liberty have already been eliminated from playoff contention.