AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Cheryl Ford pulled down a postseason-record 23 rebounds and scored 11 points Thursday night for the Detroit Shock, which beat the Connecticut Sun, 70-59, in Game 1 of the WNBA Eastern Conference finals.
Connecticut, which was outscored 22-10 in the fourth quarter, needs to win two games at home to advance to its third straight WNBA finals.
Detroit is trying to get back to the championship round for the first time since winning the 2002 title.
Ford broke Sparks center Lisa Leslie's postseason rebounding record of 18 late in the third quarter, then broke her own franchise record of 22 in the fourth. The league record for rebounds in a game is 24 by Chamique Holdsclaw, then of Washington.
Deanna Nolan led all scorers with 21 points, Katie Smith scored 17 and Plenette Pierson had 11 off the bench.
Connecticut, which was missing leading scorer Katie Douglas because of a foot injury, got 13 points each from Lindsay Whalen and Erin Phillips.