Fast start gives Phoenix WNBA title

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Phoenix's fast start made the Mercury the WNBA's first road champion.

Penny Taylor scored 30 points and the Mercury cruised to a 108-92 victory Sunday over the defending champion Detroit Shock in the fifth and deciding game of the WNBA finals. Cappie Pondexter added 26 and Diana Taurasi had 17 for Phoenix, the first road team to win the title away from home.

The Shock lost the last two games of the series, foiling their bid to become the third WNBA team to win back-to-back championships.

Phoenix, taking some steam out of the fired-up home crowd, raced to a 20-9 lead midway through the first quarter. Taurasi had eight points, including 2 3-pointers, in that stretch as Phoenix came out firing against the frazzled Detroit defense.

The Mercury led by as many as 18 points in the second quarter and led 55-43 at halftime en route to their first championship. Phoenix shot 54 percent from the floor and committed only four turnovers in the first half. The teams set a finals record for combined points in a half.

Detroit was the top seed in the WNBA's Eastern Conference, while Phoenix was seeded No. 1 in the West.

• PRO FOOTBALL -- The NFL is continuing to monitor spying devices following the penalties levied by commissioner Roger Goodell this week against the New England Patriots.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday that new memos on both videotaping and electronic surveillance of signals have gone out to all 32 teams reminding them of bans on the various types of surveillance.

Last Thursday, Goodell fined New England coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and fined the team $250,000 following the confiscation of a video camera from a Patriots representative on the field during the season opener at the Jets. Videotaping on the field is forbidden during games.

• BASKETBALL -- Jon Robert Holden scored with two seconds remaining to lift Russia over Spain 60-59 in the final of the European Basketball Championship.

Holden stripped Spain center Pau Gasol with 27 seconds to play then pump-faked before his jump shot bounced high and in for the win. Gasol's jumper at the buzzer rattled out as time expired.

Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko led Russia with 17 points as the Russians won their first European title in 22 years.

• TENNIS -- Lindsay Davenport won her first singles title after almost a year's absence from the tour, defeating Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to capture the Bali Open.

Davenport was playing her first singles tournament since having a baby in June. And the 31-year-old Californian eliminated some strong opponents en route to this title: second-seeded Hantuchova, top-seeded Jelena Jankovic and fifth-seeded Eleni Daniilidou.