AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Deanna Nolan's two free throws with 12.1 seconds left gave the Detroit Shock a 62-61 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday and forced a decisive Game 3 in the WNBA Finals.
The two-time defending champion Sparks led by four points with 1:28 left, after trailing by 19 late in the first half. But they couldn't make the shots or stops needed to win.
Kedra Holland-Corn's 3-pointer pulled Detroit within one, and Nolan's free throws gave Detroit the lead for good. The Sparks were unable to get off a clean shot in the final seconds.
The best-of-three series will conclude Tuesday at The Palace, which drew a crowd of 17,846 for Game 2.
Holland-Corn, a reserve, scored 16. Nolan added 14 points.
Lisa Leslie scored 16 of her 18 points during Los Angeles' second-half comeback. DeLisha Milton also scored 18.
After Detroit built its huge first-half lead, Leslie played like she wasn't interested in staying in suburban Detroit for another two days.
Leslie, who missed her first six shots, scored eight points during a 18-5 run to cut Los Angeles' deficit to 50-48 midway through the second half.
Holland-Corn scored five points in less than a minute to put the Shock ahead 57-50, but Leslie didn't let them enjoy the lead.
Leslie's three-point play and layup tied it at 57 with 3:15 to go. Mwadi Mabika's two free throws put Los Angeles ahead for the first time since it was up 4-2. Leslie's hook gave the Sparks a 61-57 lead and forced Detroit to call a timeout with 1:25 left.
Corn then made a 3-pointer from the right wing, and on Detroit's next possession, Leslie fouled Nolan from behind to set up her decisive free throws.
Detroit overcame a disparity at the free throw line. The Sparks made 13 of 16 free throws and the Shock were 4-of-5.
The Shock, who never led during Game 1 in Los Angeles, scored 11 unanswered points to take a 24-9 lead midway through the first half and were ahead 38-22 at halftime.