Postgame Notes and Quotes: Mercury vs. Storm - Sept. 10, 2009


Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines

“We didn’t finish strong the first half, the second half we did. They’re a pretty good team, they’re big, they can run with us, and they definitely attack. We are starting to gel a little bit, they’re starting to know their roles, know when they’re going in the game what I want them to do, which helps at the right time.”

(On the different line changes)
“I’m checking on a couple of different things because different teams around the league have different match-ups for us and we have to be able to adjust to it and be use to playing with each other.”

(How was it playing Seattle without Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson and Swin Cash?):
"Tough. They shot great. They rebounded great. Great team. They all played great."


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Mercury guard Diana Taurasi

" This is probably the toughest place to play at, probably in the league. Obviously they were without their core, but they came out and played hard. They did a lot of good things. We struggled in some aspects, but a win is a win at this point in the season. That’s all you want. You can take care of the details tomorrow in practice or the next day."

(keys in overtime?):
We just kind of stick to what we do, and hopefully try to outlast people. Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it doesn’t happen at all, and sometimes it happens with two minutes left in overtime. I thought as a group we did a good job of staying together. We were getting a lot of good shots that weren’t going in. But that’s what we have to do. We have to find a way to win.

(on homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs?):
It’s as big of a deal as you make it. We’re not worried about who we’re playing, where we’re playing, what time we’re playing, what planet we’re playing on. We’re just concentrating on the people with our jerseys in this locker room.

(Is this team ready for the playoffs?):
We’ll see. I think we’re getting close. It’s like any team. Sometimes you take a couple steps forward and sometimes you take a step back. As long as throughout the process you’re trying to get better. There’s always time to get better. That’s what we’re going to try to do.

(Surprised at how well Seattle played with the core of the team?): You’re talking about a team coached by one of the best coaches in the world. You could have put in five Seattle Storm fans and they probably would have given us a game today.


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Storm Head Coach Brian Agler

(On the effort)
"We had great effort. Great focus, great effort. They applied the scout, controlled the game, did what we had to do to put ourselves in position to win ... did what we had to do."

(On motivation):
I think that's something we're trying to instill here - we're going to compete. We had absolutely nothing to play for other than pride. We had all sorts of reasons why we shouldn't do this or shouldn't do that. We were a team tonight that instead of looking for reasons not to do things we were looking for reasons to do things. For me, it's fun to be a part of that.

On players stepping up:
"I've always told people - just about every season everybody gets their opportunity at some point. It's just a matter of do you have the ability to be disciplined enough to wait on it and stay focused enough to take advantage when you get it? Some people do and some people don't. Tonight, I would say across the board everybody took advantage of their opportunity.


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POSTGAME NOTES

  • With the win, Phoenix secured home-court advantage throughout the WNBA postseason. The Mercury would win the tiebreaker should Indiana (22-11) finish with an identical record.

  • The Mercury won the season series 3-1, sweeping both games at KeyArena. It's the first time Phoenix has won the series since 2000 and second ever.

  • The Mercury tied the franchise record of 23 wins, previously done in 2007.

  • For the first time all season, the Storm has lost three straight games.

  • Diana Taurasi scored 18 of her team-high 22 points after halftime.