Mercury 106, Silver Stars 78
Postgame Quotes and Notes: Mercury vs. Silver Stars, Game 2 - Sept. 19, 2009
Click on a player to read quotes
|Mercury Head Coach Corey Gaines|
“We made shots tonight. When you make shots and you are playing well on offense it puts pressure on the other team. They were missing shots and we rebounded the ball really well. It’s as simple as that. We made shots and they missed shots. When you make shots things seem easier. Our defense gets better when we are making shots. Everything just gets easier.”
(On the team’s response in Game 2)
“We have a lot of veteran players on our team. They’ve been in this situation before, whether it’s overseas or in college or in the WNBA. Diana [Taurasi] for instance, you knew she was going to come out and have a big game. That’s just what she does. Last game she didn’t shoot too well but I knew she was going to shoot well tonight.”
|Mercury guard Diana Taurasi|
“We could probably focus on our offense in this game. But in the locker room we were all talking about how active we were and how much energy we had on the defensive side of the ball. I thought we did a better job tonight just making it difficult for them [Silver Stars] and for Sophia [Young]. If you look at the stat sheet she had 19 points but we made it difficult for her to get those points. That’s what it’s all about, just making adjustments and trying to execute them on the court.”
(On the upcoming Game 3)
“We know San Antonio is going to come and play out of their minds’. We expect that from them. That just means we are going to come in and play with the same sense of urgency. Every possession counts. When you go through a game where you value each possession on both sides hopefully at the end of 40 minutes we’ve won the game.”
|Mercury forward Penny Taylor|
“We came out really hard, we came out aggressive, came out defensively very active and that set us up for a really good first quarter. They resisted as long as they could but really this team took off from there. Everyone on the bench helped, the starters were amazing and the energy was really good.”
(On the difference between games 1 and 2)
“Clearly it was our energy. A lot of our shots in the first game didn’t go in and that’s always going to be a factor but we did enough defensively. We were active enough, we didn’t lose our players, and we were aggressive. I think that’s the key word. We were aggressive offensively and defensively at all times.”
|Silver Stars Head Coach Dan Hughes|
“I thought Phoenix did a great job, coming out and being the aggressor today, they delivered. From an offensive perspective they were extremely aggressive, converting shots consistently. I thought we came out offensively getting some things done, but defensively we just had no answer to getting the game under control from a tempo stand point. Give them credit, they were very assertive, and really put us in a catch up phase early in the game.”
(On what he will change in preparing for Game 3 on Monday)
“I think what has been established playing Phoenix is that the home team have success and if we’re going to change that then we need to figure out how to be the aggressor in this series. We have played each other six times now and the home team has won each and has been the aggressor in each one. To change that equation we’re going to have to find out how consistent and persistent we need to become on their home court.”
|Silver Stars forward Sophia Young|
“We knew coming into this game they were going to come out very focused, they’re playing at home, and it didn’t help us that they couldn’t miss any shots. I thought they attacted us in every aspect and we were on our back heels a lot throughout the whole game. If we want to win we can’t let that happen.”
On what the difference was in the game tonight vs. Game 1)
“We did not come out as focused as we should have, and that caught us off guard a little. We know that they are a high scoring team and they’re going to get their points, but the fact that we took the glue and didn’t give anything back, that was the major thing that happened.”
|Silver Stars guard Becky Hammon|
“Obviously they came out very strong. I thought the first couple of minutes of the game we were right there but they just caught fire, they didn’t miss anything. We knew they were going to come out and be the aggressors but Monday is a whole different game.”
(On coming out in the second half)
“When you’re fighting a deficit like we had you’re going to try to crawl back in it, you aren’t going to get it all back all at one time. Just possession by possession, but we weren’t good enough defensively to deal with their offense. That’s the bottom line. The good thing is we’ll be able to make adjustments and Monday is a whole new game.”
The Mercury defeated the Silver Stars to force a deciding Game 3 in the Western Conference Semifinals on Monday at US Airways Center. The game will be telecast live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
The Mercury’s record-setting offense set yet another mark tonight by cracking the century mark for the fifth time in team postseason history with its 106-78 victory over San Antonio – the third-highest point total in WNBA postseason history. Phoenix has surpassed the 100-point barrier in playoff play more times than the rest of the WNBA combined (four times).
Tonight’s Game 2 victory gives Phoenix a 4-0 record over the past four Game 2’s the team has appeared in. The Mercury has averaged 99.3 points per game during these contests.
Following a Game 1 loss, Phoenix staved off elimination tonight with its 106-78 victory over San Antonio. During the regular season, Phoenix lost back-to-back games just once and was 9-1 (.900) following a loss.
KEY STAT OF THE NIGHT
While offense was the theme of the night, Phoenix’s defense held its own. The Mercury outrebounded the Silver Stars 39-20 – tying the team’s highest margin of the regular season (June 17 vs. Minnesota).
KEY RUN OF THE NIGHT
After trading blows to open the game, Phoenix took control at 2:15 in the first quarter with the score at 25-23 via 10 unanswered points. The 10-0 run ballooned to a 23-2 run, giving the Mercury an insurmountable lead.
After a subpar performance in Game 1 of the series, Phoenix’s All Star duo of DIANA TAURASI and CAPPIE PONDEXTER returned to form in Game 2 with a combined 42 points on 18-of-28 (.643) shooting. Dee and CP23 combined for 30 points on 11-of-27 (.407) shooting in Game 1, along with a combined eight turnovers.
WNBA RECORDS AND ALMOST RECORDS
Phoenix started the game quick, pouring in 35 points in the first quarter on a WNBA postseason-record 78.9-percent shooting (15-of-19). The previous record of 76.9 percent was held by Detroit (Sept. 19, 2008). The league’s second-best three-point shooting team hit all four of its shots from long in the half.
The Mercury continued its scoring ways after the first period, pouring in 64 first-half points. The total is good for the third-highest scoring output in either half by a team in WNBA history. Phoenix also owns the second highest total (65, at Detroit, Sept. 5, 2007).
Phoenix’s dynamic offense scorched the Silver Stars by nailing 46-of-72 (.639) shots – a WNBA postseason record for field goals made and just narrowly missing the record for field goal percentage in a game (.660, NY vs. WAS, Aug. 24, 2002).
WNBA sixth woman of the year DEWANNA BONNER recorded a double-double in her home postseason debut. Bonner bucketed 16 points while cleaning the glass for 13 rebounds.
SILVER STARS HIGHLIGHTS
San Antonio’s SOPHIA YOUNG followed up her game-high 24 points in Game 1 with a team-high 19 points tonight on 6-of-18 .333). Young also grabbed four boards.