Postgame Quotes: June 27, 2004

Sparks 83, Lynx 67
Target Center

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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"It's the same old story. We come so close... We were within five with just four minutes left. It doesn't matter if we start strong, or if we have to come back. Tonight we just dug a hole so deep (and) we had to fight so hard to get back in the game. It was one of those situations where you're not sure whether to go with fresh players or to stick with the players that got you there. Maybe fatigue was an issue. They used so much energy to get back. We came so close. One possession could've changed the entire complexion of the game."

"Svet did a great job coming off the bench. It was her first game back, and she was able to create some things. She was a great addition for us. Stacey Lovelace gave us some good play off the bench, and Tasha Butts has been consistent for us all year with her energy off the bench. Within the flow of the game, we're trying to work on the right combinations."

"Their bench killed us. We had Lisa Leslie and DeLisha Milton-Jones with three fouls, and couldn't do anything with it. We held DeLisha scoreless, but their bench just killed us."

"At times, Katie removes herself from the offense and lets other players take over. That's something we will need to talk about. Tonight we were concerned with creating tempo with our motion offense. That was what we were most successful with in the second half. But Katie seemed to be the one screening, instead of being the one screened for."

"We have great leaders on this team. 'T' is a great leader, Tamika is a great leader and Katie is a great leader. They all have played and succeeded at various levels. They know what to do. Our leaders this year are the same leaders we had last year. I don't look at our downfall as a result of leadership."

"Tonight (Abrosimova's) play was limited to 4-5 minutes a half. In the second half she really got us going. I looked over at our trainer, and she said that she needed a rest. I just wanted to get as much as I possibly could out of her. Tonight, Svet was Svet. She made things happen. We're just going to have to take her one game at a time. She will continue to come off the bench. It's going to be the doctors' and trainer's call. After playing 14 minutes, we will see how she feels. It's not bad after not playing at all since December. She is someone who can create things. That is something we're lacking as a team right now."

Lynx Forward Svetlana Abrosimova
"I haven't played in three months, so I have to get back on track, both physically and mentally. It felt great tonight, though. In the first half I was a bit upset, because I wasn't doing anything out there. I was just out there. In the second half it felt great, like there was no off-season. We were just trying to come back against L.A. again."

"It (injury) is always a risk. You might get hurt walking across the street. You just have to take that risk."

Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"I didn't really get the ball in a lot of good spots, and they played good defense. So it was a combination of both. But we found the open person. I'm not one to force a lot of shots. That's just the way it went tonight. I didn't get a lot of good looks."

"There was definitely a swing in the action. They made a run in the first half. We were down 10-11 at half, and that's a big hole against a team that is very deliberate on offense. We dug ourselves a big hole, but we fought back within five or six. We almost got even, but we never made it that far... They just find a way to get it done. If they're not scoring, then they're playing tough 'D'. They got three boards off a free throw, and that just hurts you."

"We're not going in the wrong direction. We've just got to find a way to get it done. Somehow we've got to tweak something. We need to find a way just find a way whether it's individually stopping our man, or knocking down shots, or whatever. There's got to be something that we have to do, as a team or individually, to get a boost."

Lynx Guard Teresa Edwards
"If I had the answer, I think I would say it. I'm used to winning... I don't think there's an answer. Fortunately, this is a season where everyone is winning. Like Suzie said, it's very stiff across the board in the East and West. We have to work on us. We have to stay individually accountable, because we know what she wants now. It's not like she's giving us any elements of surprise. If I had a medicine for us, it would be for us to be accountable for our own little mishaps. We don't need anyone to tell us any more. We have to get on the same page, and then do it for 40 minutes. I don't think there's a perfect medicine. Just do what you can individually, then let the chips fall where they may."

"(McConnell Serio) is conveying the message that we have to play together, and then grow as a team. I think we're coming, though. I really do. It's a weird experience, though. I've never been here before."

Lynx Forward Tamika Williams
"Against a team like L.A., it's really hard to come back against a veteran team like this. What I do like for us tonight is Svet coming back. She's big, gets to the basket, and is another creator on the floor who is very unselfish. I think she takes some pressure off Katie on the wings, and opens up more inside. We had room tonight in the post. She's another option. Not too many players look like themselves after an injury. She's always running, and tonight she kept running."

"We have to keep our composure. When we lose it, we're 10 points down and that's hard to come back from."

Sparks Coach Michael Cooper
"I thought this was one of the better games we've played this season. Consistency has been our biggest problem, and I felt for the most part we played strong the whole game. We had our lapses, but that's always going to happen. Bottom line, we won. This is a good win for us."

"Every time we play Minnesota, we know it's going to be a physical game. They're always a bit undersized, so they have to make up for that by being physical and trying to get in our heads. That's just part of the WNBA play now. The last few years, the level of physicality has really risen."

"I'm proud of my team for the way we were able to withstand their run in the second half. I can honestly tell you that if my team plays the way they're capable of, and we don't beat ourselves, no one in the league can beat us."

Sparks Guard Nikki Teasley
"We're starting to develop a very interesting rivalry with Minnesota. I think the aggressive defense and chippiness you saw in the second half has been building since last season. We really respect that team, because they come out on the floor and try to outwork their opponents. They know they don't match up with us as well as other teams do, so they try to be physical with us and get us out of our game. If we stay focused and don't let them take us out of our game, we're fine."