Rockers 79, Lynx 71
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Lynx Coach Suzie McConnell Serio
"We started the game with no energy, offensively and defensively. That's what we talked about in the locker room before the game. When we've been most successful, it's been because of our defense. They did whatever they wanted. Everything that they ran we've scouted; we run similar things."
"We just didn't defend very well, obviously, allowing Deanna Jackson to score 30 points against us. We just didn't step it up defensively and we didn't play on the offensive end until we were down in the second half, down 10, and then we started to play with a lot of energy. It was the best we've executed when we started to play with a sense of urgency in the second half to try to make a run."
"We still had our chances but managed to make mistakes — not boxing out on a free throw, giving them another opportunity when they missed — and we gave up offensive rebounds. We've been too inconsistent. We talked about in Houston having a great first half and a mediocre second half — giving away a game. This game we came out and were flat in the first half. We've just got to get more consistent, being able to put two halves together."
"We need to play through mistakes. We need to become more consistent, playing 40 minutes. Not taking this opportunity they have for granted right now, being a part of this team. They don't have the luxury of choosing when they come to play. This is their job."
"I don't know if (Smith's first-half injury) had any affect. I just think mentally that was a good break for Katie. She got to the free-throw line 10 times. She was more aggressive, trying to drive to create her own shot. They were very physical and they did a good job of taking options away from Katie. But Katie's also very unselfish in that if she doesn't have the open look, she's not going to force it."
"This is my job now. We prepared this team to play this game like we have any other. I root for the Rockers to win every other game, other than when they play us. I don't know that that was really in my mind as much."
Lynx Guard Katie Smith
"We got ourselves in a pretty good hole early. Cleveland forced the tempo, and we didn't adjust defensively. We didn't come to play 'D'. They kept coming at us and didn't stop being aggressive."
"Cleveland should win if they're up five with a minute and 30 left. If we're up five with a minute and 30 left, we should win. It doesn't come down to the last minute-and-a-half of the game."
Lynx Forward Sheri Sam
"It was just turning the ball over. We just needed to make a stand and take control. The effort was there. It was just making the same mistakes — decision-making, taking care of the ball, taking good shots."
"In this league you have to move on. As a player, you shouldn't have that (loss at Houston) in your mind."
Rockers Coach Dan Hughes
"Obviously this is a big win for us. Any time you can go on the road and pull out a victory, it's huge — especially at this point in the season. Not only am I proud that we pulled out the win, I'm very satisfied with how we did it. Our team, for one of the first times all year, really didn't let up the whole game."
"I thought we really came out of the gates well and set the tone early. Our defensive pressure was outstanding and helped us get easy looks underneath the basket. We really fed off of our defense, and I think that got our offense into a good rhythm."
"Jackson really gave us a huge boost tonight. She raised her game above anything I've ever seen her play like in a game. We have been trying to get her to become a more consistent player. And hopefully after her performance tonight, this is a sign of good things to come. I give credit to her for not being afraid to keep shooting, but also to her teammates for realizing she had the hot hand and continually feeding her the ball."
"Minnesota is a very dangerous offensive team. The amount of pressure they can put on you, with three and sometimes four scorers at a time, is huge. Because of that, I knew that they never were really going to be out of the game, and that they would eventually make a run at us. I wouldn't say we played poorly letting them cut it down to five at the end. They just really started to click on all cylinders for the first time all game."
"Any time you limit a player of Smith's caliber like we did in the first half, it's because of a great defensive team effort. She went off in the second half, but I felt the way we guarded her in the first half was key to this win, because we didn't let her get into the game from the start."
Rockers Guard Deanna Jackson
"I got into a zone tonight and felt like I couldn't miss. It's really hard to describe, but I got to the point where I thought everything that I threw up was going to go in... My teammates were really feeding me the ball and putting me into position to score. That really contributed to my night — never really losing my touch."
"Tonight we finally played a complete game. Lately, especially on the road, we have been getting lackadaisical at the end of games. Tonight was a different story. I felt every time they got some momentum and went on a few mini-runs, we came up with the big shot. I know off-hand I hit a few big ones, and I really felt that was the key to staying ahead."