Postgame Quotes/Notes - L.A. 75, Storm 64 (Game 3)

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  • With the win, the Sparks advance to the Western Conference Finals for the second straight season, third time in the last four years and eighth in franchise history.
  • Los Angeles improved to 4-0 against the Storm in playoff series, including wins the last two years and three of the last four.
  • The Storm fell in the semifinals round for the fifth straight season.
  • Candace Parker led all scorers with 22 points, the most she has ever scored in a playoff game.
  • With 21 points, Swin Cash led the Storm in scoring for the third straight game, adding 10 rebounds. She averaged 21.0 ppg in the series.
  • Sue Bird's six rebounds tied her playoff career high.
  • The Storm shot 32.8 percent from the field. The team started the game 1-of-13 and was held without a field goal from the 6:57 mark of the second quarter through the 8:11 mark of the third.
  • During the second quarter, L.A. went on a 13-1 run. The Storm would not get back within single-digits until 0:43.3 remained in the game.
  • The Storm never led. The Sparks led by as many as 21 points.
  • L.A. had four first-half threes, while the Storm shot 0-of-5 beyond the arc.
  • September 20, 2009

    On the game and officiating:
    I really don't have any comment on the officiating. I just felt that we struggled to score for periods of time tonight. I think L.A. had a lot to do with that. I really thought they came in and played well. They controlled the game early, and as hard and as competitive as we try to play we could not get the game going the way we wanted it.

    On Tanisha Wright's foul trouble:
    Well, Tanisha is important, obviously. She's a catalyst for us and makes a lot of things happen both offensively and defensively. It was just a tough scenario.

    On starting slowly on offense:
    I felt like with the team that we have this year that us getting the ball to the rim, finishing shots, getting to the free throw line is very important for us to play well. I thought our efforts and intentions were great. I thought LA did a good job of congesting the lane on us. They challenged a lot of shots without fouling, and for whatever reason those shots that went down before didn't go down tonight. Its not that we didn't play that we wanted to; we just couldn't finish the ending of making shots.

    On his postgame message:
    We talked about how hard we played and we put ourselves in position here tonight. We'll move on. I think everyone is disappointed in how we played, but they have nothing to be ashamed of. Our efforts were great. We competed hard.

    On Swin Cash:
    I thought Swin had a great series. Swin is the ultimate competitor. She played her best basketball in the series. She had gone though some difficult times just before it started. Swin did a great job both offensively and defensively.

    On the loss:
    Yes, it's frustrating to lose in the first round again. No, we don't like it. Yes, it's tough to lose to the same team again. That's pretty much it.

    On the officiating:
    Officiating is one of those things, and of course they affect the game, but it's out of your hands. I thought from Game 1 to Game 2 we learned we couldn't put them on the line as much as we did. And we put ourselves in position to win in Game 2 because of that. And tonight we just kind of fell back into some bad habits. Were some of them ticky-tack? Probably. But you have to adjust. You have no control of what they call. They're not going to reverse a call. It's not going to happen. You just have to deal with it.

    On the mood in the locker room:
    Everyone is disappointed. These WNBA seasons are very difficult mentally, physically and emotionally at times. You go together a lot together as a team. Once the playoffs start, you play a whole entire year to have a chance to get here to play for a championship. To get knocked out is extremely difficult. I think everyone right now is really disappointed. But, at the same time, we had a great season in some ways. We have a great group. I know people are going to have fond memories of this season.

    On the game:
    I want to tip my hat to Brian Agler and the Seattle Storm because they are a very good basketball team. It’s so unfortunate that we’ve never gotten a chance to play this team at full strength. They’re a very tough team to play all year and Lauren Jackson and (Katie) Gearlds were there and it seems like the last two seasons, every time it’s playoff time, they’re missing a piece. That’s unfortunate. I know the feeling because it happened to us earlier, missing our big players, but that team has a lot of determination, a lot of grit, a lot of hustle and fight in them. Although the score was bigger, the game wasn’t because they gave us all we could handle. You owe it to a team to play hard every night and we were very lucky to win this series.

    On the Sparks showing a killer instinct:
    Definitely saw it earlier. In the first quarter, I thought we came out focused on defense and what we wanted to get accomplished. We made them take some tough shots and kept them on the perimeter, took away the inside game. Hopefully this is a game that we can learn from and keep that killer instinct because it’s been coming and going throughout the season.

    On whether this was his team's best effort of the season:
    Yeah, I’d have to say so. We had a couple of games … I thought we played well against San Antonio toward the end of the season. But for a complete game, for 40 minutes of us hustling and working hard every minute on the floor, this was probably our best game. We’ve had our lapses where we’ll play hard and then it seems like we’ll fall asleep for three or four minutes and let teams get back in the game. This was a very good team game for us tonight, though.

    On playing the Storm without Jackson:
    They’re tough either way. I think without her, usually other people get an opportunity to step up and be accountable. This team is tough. We played them very, very well throughout the season. We won our two at home, they won their two here so we knew it was going to be a tough basketball game. In this league, especially in the playoffs, it’s hard to beat a team twice at home, or twice at any time, whether you’re on the road or at home. We had to work to get this win.

    On the officiating:
    It was what it was. We had to work around it and play through it. We got some people in early foul trouble and you just have to work around those situations. Some people on their side got into early foul trouble so you can’t tell how the officials are going to call the game, you just have to play hard and be smart about it.

    On the game:
    I thought it was a well played game for us from start to finish. We knew after looking at our stats from Game 2 that we’d given up too many turnovers. That’s what really kept them in the game. That was our main focus – just really taking care of the ball. We knew they were going to come out very aggressive and I thought we did a good job of being the aggressors today. We attacked the basket and got in the bonus early and that really helped us. From there, it was just a battle. It was a very physical game. We did a really good job of maintaining our composure and moving the ball around and finding the open player.

    On the Sparks defense:
    Defensively we were pretty aggressive. We did run at Bird a few times to get the ball out of her hands and I thought that helped put her back on her heels for awhile. Tanisha Wright – we knew she liked to get to the basket so I thought we did a good job of helping. And also with Swin Cash. Swin does a good job of facing and she likes to drive left and, even though you know it’s coming, it’s really hard to stop. Overall, I think just knowing personnel and having to play a team three times, you kind of figure out what everyone’s tendencies are more than anything else. That was something I thought we were able to take advantage of with our size.

    On matching up with either Phoenix or San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals:
    Right now, watching the games and looking at Phoenix, they seem to be the team that’s hot. I think that’s going to be the team that we need to face. You can’t take a step back right now when it comes to the Western Conference Finals. This is where we ended our season last year so we’re very hungry. But honestly, it doesn’t matter which team we face. I just believe that Phoenix is the team we’re going to have to beat and we’ll have to find a way to get it done.

    On the possibility of this being her last game:
    You know what, when I woke up this morning, I just knew that I didn’t want to end my career here. No offense to the people of Seattle – you have a great crowd here, but it’s not my home floor so for me, I just kept having that thought of this cannot be my last game here. I don’t have any attachment to this city and don’t know anyone here and I just kept thinking I didn’t want to end my career here tonight.

    2009 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive