Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 63, San Antonio 55
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the Storm's defense:
I thought for the most part we played pretty well defensively. And they're a hard team to defend. Sophia (Young) made some really big shots on us. (Jayne) Appel got some offensive boards on us. I thought we did a poor job in that area, but I think they've gotten better as well. So if you take the turnovers that we had - we didn't have a lot of them, but they still scored points off those - and second-chance points, that's where they hurt us.
On the offense clicking down the stretch:
I thought we started playing with a purpose at the end. I didn't think we played with a purpose early in the game. I think Lauren made a couple of Lauren Jackson plays – turnaround jump shots, drop steps, things of that nature. We got to the free throw line a little bit in the second half. And we had some open looks that we missed as well. Sue (Bird) had a lot of open looks, Katie (Smith) had a couple that we just missed.
On the game:
We're excited that we were successful. Obviously, it was a big game. And at this time of the year the games are going to be close. People scout each other, you play teams multiple times, and this is the fourth time we've played them. They're going to get better just like we got better from the first time we played them. That's just how the game is.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On the game:
It was a win and any win is a good win. And moving forward I think we have to take care of home court. It was big for us to get this one. On the offense clicking down the stretch:
I think when it came down to it we needed to just play. Sometimes you can get caught up in some things, and as a team we weren't taking advantage. We had some opportunities, especially early on, to really take advantage of the game and control the game. When it came down to it we just needed to make some stops and execute at the other end. On scoring her 4,000th career point:
I joked that it just means that I've been playing a long time. I think looking back on my career it will be something that will be special. You're in an elite group when you think about people who have done that. It's got a little bit of meaning to it. I think the assists will always kind of mean a little bit more. On the Storm's defense on Becky Hammon:
She's very tough, very crafty, very difficult to guard. I think the strength of our team is that we can have four people that are constantly on her. She's never getting a break out there. There is somebody always in her face. And we're able to switch screens and that makes it very difficult for her.
STORM GUARD TANISHA WRIGHT:
On defending Hammon:
They put the ball in her hands. Kind of like us with Sue, they put the ball in her hands. Our focus defensively has been really sharp and keen. It's helped us.
She's very difficult because she's crafty with the basketball. Players like that you never know what they're going to do. She keeps her dribble alive which helps her find people and maneuver inside and outside in the cracks. Becky is great player. She can shoot the basketball, she can penetrate, she makes moves that you don't expect from such a small player.
Our team defense is amazing against her. We really focus in on her and make her give the ball up and let other people make plays. We get tons of help from our post players. They do a good job of forcing her to make the next pass and then recovering. They have a bigger assignment than we do. Our job is to try to stay in front of her, but they help us a lot.
On the game:
Both teams really were physical and it was a hard-fought battle. They kind of separated from us at the free throw line a little bit. They got to the line 14 times. I thought we did a lot of things we'd hoped we would do - we outrebounded them and things like that, but the reality was we needed a fourth quarter that could separate us. But they went to Jackson and Bird a little bit, and Wright hurt us, all in the fourth quarter, which gave them the separation.
On what can make the difference in close losses :
We need to finish some offensive plays a little better. We're not going to win a lot of games shooting 32 percent. The effort defensively and the effort on the glass … a lot of those things went really well. But for us, we're going to have to finish better offensively to win on the road in those situations. We gave ourselves a chance, but you're not going to win a lot of games shooting 32 percent.
On the game:
I thought our team came in here ready to play. It took us awhile to score, but once we did that, we got into a rhythm. There were some tough baskets down the stretch that they were able to hit and we weren't able to convert ours. There were some calls that we didn't get as well so that could've made a difference in the game, going to the free throw line. It was a huge difference in the game. I thought we worked hard. We outrebounded them for the first time in awhile so that was good for us. We competed and we're getting better. But getting better is not necessarily good - we have to get there and win a couple games in the next stretch coming up because these games are very important to us.
On moving forward:
We have to build from this. We came out aggressive and had a mentality that was focused and determined. This next game against Minnesota, we just have to carry that over. We need to finish those easy buckets that we had, keep rebounding the ball and run the floor to get some transition buckets, so easy things like that will be beneficial for us winning. Obviously these next couple of games are important for us to win so we have to get it in our minds that it's a must-win.