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Eastern Conference Finals Game 3
Detroit Shock 79, Connecticut Sun 55
Sunday, August 27, 2006 at Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT

Shock 79, Sun 55
Boxscore | Recap
August 27, 2006
Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, CT
Points:(DET) Two Tied, 16
(CON) T. McWilliams, 12
Rebounds:(DET) Two Tied, 8
(CON) M. Dydek, 9
Assists:(DET) D. Nolan, 5
(CON) N. Sales, 3
Blocks:(DET) C. Ford, 3
(CON) M. Dydek, 3
Player of the Game
Swin Cash
Points: 16
Rebounds: 8
Assists: 3
Minutes: 29
Shock Head Coach Bill Laimbeer

Opening statement:
"This team makes me look good every now and then. It was a very fun and enjoyable experience to be associated with them today. You could tell from the locker room before the game started that they were focused and ready to play basketball. We were a little put out on our performance yesterday. From Swin Cash starting out the game with all the energy in the world, to our bench coming in with Kara Braxton performing like she didÖ We were just so quick to the ball, defensively. We dug a lot of balls out. We got all the loose balls in the second half when the game was being decided. We came out of the locker room in the third quarter with determination that this was our game and that we were going to go to the Finals. Everything about this game was a pleasure to be with except for the one time when I had the melt down and lost my brain right before the half. Theyíll tell me about that for a long time. But, other than that, it was a great game for our players. Iím very happy for Miss (Katie) Smith here sitting next to me. Itís her first Final. Thatís why we brought her here, was to play in Finals. We had an enjoyable game. I give Connecticut a lot of credit. Theyíve represented the Eastern Conference well for the last couple of years but now itís our turn. Weíre prepared to go into this final against Sacramento, the defending champion. We talk to them all the time. Weíre good friends as coaching staffs and we kid each other, but this is business now. Weíre coming to do some business."

On dominating the game:
"You never expect to come into a game as have as successful of a game as we had and win by this margin. But, thatís how it works a majority of the time in a close out game. When you seize control of a game, the other team gets a little bit flustered and put their heads down for a moment and that even energizes your team more. A lot of close out games are blow out games because one team keeps the hammer down and drives and the other team fades off into the sunset."

On adjustments between games two and three :
"There was no adjustment. We put in a couple of plays that were insignificant. There as no adjustment except in the playersí attitude and how they approached this game."

Shock Guard Katie Smith

On adjustments between games two and three:
" The only adjustment was our energy. Transition-wise, we began to push the ball for the beginning of the ball game and really took it at them. They got a little tired. Thatís et the tone for us. We played a smarter ball game. For myself, yesterday I was more of a floor general. I didnít look for myself and just tried to run the team a little bit too much. Itís a fine line. So, tonight, I was playing for my shot but also running this team. I think everybody came with the mindset and the energy was just huge. We came out and were ready to play and ready for whatever was thrown our way.Ē

On pre-series hype about top-seeded Connecticut:
ďIíve been around a while so not much surprises me. Iíve kind of been-there done0that in a lot of ways. The only way that you can prove yourself and get past some of that stuff is by winning. The way you can talk the loudest is by winning. We have a phenomenal team from top to bottom. Theyíve gotten a lot of credit and give them credit because theyíre the most consistent team in this league. Theyíve won games with people hurt. But we came in here and played well. Iím happy that weíve hit that stride a little bit and I hope that we continue. They set the standard for a couple of years but we were up for the challenge this past season.Ē

Shock Forward Swin Cash

On her 10 point performance in the first quarter :
" I just give credit to my teammates they were just finding me positions, making passes and I was just able to hit down some shots, but we just wanted to come out and set the tone. I thought everyone came out defensively and offensively we were running, it was a beautiful thing to be a part of.Ē

"I just give credit to my teammates they were just finding me positions, making passes and I was just able to hit down some shots, but we just wanted to come out and set the tone. I thought everyone came out defensively and offensively we were running, it was a beautiful thing to be a part of."

On looking ahead to the WNBA Finals :
ďWe have a little bit of experience in this room, but we are just gonna enjoy the moment right now and wake up tomorrow and go prepare for Sacramento. I like our chances, obviously Sacramento has something that we want, so its gonna be a battle.Ē

On how the Shock set the tone early and never let the Sun back in the game :
ďWe just came with our foot on the gas and defensively we just wanted to get out there and be aggressive for the whole 40 minutes. Our bench came in and played great. I thought Kara Braxton did an excellent job. Cheryl was down low on the boards and we were making open shots and that is what Detroit basketball is all about and if we play like that its hard for a lot of teams to beat us.Ē

Shock Forward Cheryl Ford

On how the Shock set the tone early and never let the Sun back in the game:
" We knew that we had to do, what we were suppose to do and that was limit our turnovers, donít give them any second shots and run. He (Coach Laimbeer) told us that was the main thing, push the ball and run.Ē

On the play of Braxton off the bench :
ďMan!. Coach challenged her yesterday after the game and she came out and responded in a great way. She played big tonight, Iím proud of her and if she can do that every game, give us that off the bench, we are gonna be the champs.Ē

On what they have to do to win the WNBA Championship :
ďStay focused mentally. They (Sacramento) love to play tough, they are a very physical team and we need to limit our turnovers, rebound and donít give them any second shots.Ē

Sun Head Coach Mike Thibault

Opening statement:
ďAt the risk of stating the obvious, we got our butts kicked. Detroit played as well as Iíve ever seen them play, at least against us. They are a highly talented team. They came out and manhandled us. They earned everything they got. Iím proud of my team for the season that we had but obviously disappointed that in a game that gave us a chance to get back to the Finals, we got beat. Iíve always told our team that youíll have regrets if you donít do the right things or play hard. Iíve never had to reprimand my team about playing hard, or at least not very often. Tonight we just got beat. Detroit took it to us from the very start. They rammed it down our throats. They posted us up. They ran their plays and made the game very simple. We struggled. They took away the paint from us. They made us shoot outside shots and we ended up shooting 6-for-25 from the three point line. Thatís not a good sign when you are trying to beat a team that good."

On what disappoints him about tonight:
"Just about everything. I hate losing at anything. My family will tell you that. Iím most disappointed that in the first half we didnít match them in transition. I told our players after what I saw last night, I felt that their game plan was going to be to take Katie Smith and run her right down our throat as hard as she could to see if she could draw some fouls. (I also thought) that they would just throw it in the post and throw it out and try to pound us on the boards. Basically, they did that from the start. I was most disappointed that we didnít get offensive rebounds, but we also didnít get back. Youíve got to do one or the other, and we got caught in the middle. They were running, throwing over the top of us and getting layups. We let Braxton come off the bench and get plays in the paint. Swin (Cash) had her best game against us all year running the floor. I knew Katie Smith was going to play the way she did after last night, thatís he was going to just put her head down and go and see I she could get Lindsay (Whalen), or whoever guarded her, into foul trouble. Given all that and as bad as we played, at halftime, I felt like if we got a good start to the third quarter that we could get ourselves back into the game. But, we were even worse. Between turnovers, shot selection, you could make a laundry list of things. We didnít do anything right tonight. We picked a bad night to have one of our worst performances of the year. I really canít tell you way other than Detroit played like they were supposed to play. They donít always do that, but they played like theyíre supposed to play. I think the consensus in the league is that they are physically, if not the most talented them then one of them. They played like that tonight and we didnít match them."

Sun Guard Lindsay Whalen

On the start of the second half:
"It started with our first four or five possessions. There were three turnovers and a missed three. They got some run-outs and a couple more loose balls in the lane, and the next thing you knew it was a 6-0 run. Down nine at halftime, all of a sudden it was a 15 point game. We called a quick timeout to try and regroup ourselves but, for whatever reason, we had a tough time scoring there in the third quarter. It was not the start of the half you want. After being down at the start of the half, you want to come out and start (well). It just didnít happen for us."

On losing five of six to Detroit this year:
"Theyíre extremely athletic. Inside, they walled off the paint on us and made us take 25 threes. Theyíre real athletic. Theyíve got players who can jump. Theyíre one of those teams that really pushes it back at us. We feel that one of our strengths is getting it up the floor and playing at a fast tempo. Thatís what they like to do too and theyíve got some athletes on the wings as well in (Deanna) Nolan, (Katie) Smith and (Swin) Cash. They can come at you a lot of different ways and theyíre a talented team."

On Swin Cash:
"She comes out aggressive to start and tonight she got some things to go. She got a couple from the baseline and made a couple of strong post moves and got herself going tonight. She came at it from the start and she played well tonight."

On how to describe how the Sun played :
"I think flustered is the word to (describe how) we were playing. I donít know what it was. Shots that we normally hit, we just werenít hitting. I canít really tell at this point. I might have to watch the game to really tell (what went wrong)."

Sun Guard Katie Douglas

On what to attribute the loss to :
"Itís tough. Itís a three-game series. We played here just 24 hours earlier. Itís more about the little things than the xís and oís. They pounded us inside. They just took it right at us."

On if the team assembled here is enough to win a championship:
"Obviously I thought that and the other players felt that we had the right pieces to the puzzle to win the title. Coach had confidence in this group. But, anytime you fall short, youíve got to start tinkering and make some moves. Teams donít stand still. They donít remain stagnant. Even when youíre a championship team, youíve got to continue to work and continue to find ways to get better. We need to start figuring out what it is we need to do."