Sept. 17, 2004
Lynx 78, Sparks 66
Staples Center

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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"It's a great win. Our team came to play tonight. I could not be more proud of their effort. They executed the game plan the way we wanted to, and we got great contributions from all of our players. They came out and played relaxed and with a lot of confidence. We [the coaching staff] tried to take the pressure off the players by telling them to enjoy the game and have fun out there. We told them to let the game come to them, and that is what they did."

"[Leslie] is the MVP, in my opinion. She has played so well this year, and I believe that she is the best player. She can score at will and it is so hard to contain her in all aspects of the game."

Lynx Center Nicole Ohlde
"Everyone is so excited. It was a tough road for us with Katie getting injured. It changed a lot of players' perspectives. It has been a total team effort, and everyone has come out and done their part during the games."

"I think that all of us knew that we had to fight tonight. If we were going to go down, we were going to go down with a fight."

Lynx Center Vanessa Hayden
"It felt really good to come into Staples Center and get a win tonight. We knew coming into this game that we needed a win. We were the underdogs tonight, but we showed everyone that we can play with the best of them, even without Katie Smith."

"I think that the focus in yesterday's practice was being hungry for tonight's win. We just came off a huge loss in Houston, where we should have won the game. Everyone was ready to play and win tonight."

Sparks Coach Karleen Thompson
"The first 30 seconds of this game dictated the way this game was going to go. We played catch-up the entire time. We cannot come out on our heels; we all have to be on the same page and ready to play."

"I think we were never able to gain the momentum when we caught up. We gave them a lot of confidence in the way we came out in the first 30 seconds of the game. We were not playing together for 40 minutes, and we did not pull together our Sparks defense. We were allowing them to score. We went away from our game plan."

Sparks Center Lisa Leslie
"We definitely want to come out and play good, solid basketball and better team basketball. We did not play smart basketball tonight. We took a lot of contested shots. We did not execute or run our offense. Thank goodness this is not the playoffs. I have to give credit to the Lynx, because they came out and played a good game."

Sparks Forward Tamika Whitmore
"We could have played better team basketball. It seemed that at times we were executing our offense, but it was still not enough. We have to get this game out of our minds and move on to our final game tomorrow against Seattle."