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Postgame Notes & Quotes: Storm Beat Wings In Regular Season Finale, 84-68

STORM TEAM NOTES

  • Seattle added to the franchise season scoring record it set on Friday night. The Storm finished the season with 2,956 points, for an average of 87.2 per game.
  • With Jordin Canada starting for Sue Bird, Seattle ended the season 23-4 with the starting line-up of Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd, Alysha Clark, Breanna Stewart and Natasha Howard.
  • The Storm ended the season with a WNBA record 307 3-point field goals, the first team in league history to break the 300 mark.
  • With tonight’s win, Seattle takes the season series over the Dallas, 3-1, the 10th series win over a team this season (Atlanta 1-2).  The Storm has swept four season series, 3-0.
  • Coach Dan Hughes has led the team to the best season to season turnaround in franchise history with an 11 -win improvement over 2017 (2009, 20 wins to 2010, 28 wins)
  • Seattle led the league in Net Rating (Net Rating is a team’s point differential per 100 possessions.) Seventeen of the past 21 WNBA champions were league leaders in Net Rating, with the other four finishing second in the category.

 

WINGS TEAM NOTES

  • The Wings completed their 2018 season with a 15-19 record and eighth spot in the final WNBA standings
  • The Wings will now head to Phoenix and face the Mercury for the first round of the WNBA playoffs.
  • The Wings shot a perfect 100 percent behind the free throw line for the first time this season going 12-for-12
  • Three players scored double figures for the third consecutive game.
  • The Wings also grabbed a total of 31boards for the night. It marks as the 28th game they have grabbed 30-plus rebounds or more.

WINGS PLAYER NOTES

  • Glory Johnson led all scorers with 16 points. It marks the second time this season she has led the Wings this season. She also ended the night with seven total rebounds to lead the team in total boards.
  • Liz Cambage ended up with 11 points to record her 32nd double-figure scoring game of the season.
  • Rookie Azura Stevens also scored in double digits with 10 points.

DALLAS WINGS INTERIM HEAD COACH TAJ MCWILLIAMS-FRANKLIN ………………………………………..
(On the game)
“Seattle played well, as they have been all year. We tend to give them problems obviously because
of our big ‘big’ (Liz Cambage) – she gives a lot of people problems. Today we didn’t want to
overwork (our team). Seattle has (one) week off and we only have one day. We play on Tuesday so
wanted to see some things. Even Seattle’s non-starters played really, really hard and that’s what a
championship team is made of. For us, we look at certain things that Seattle did and we take those
with us – the good parts that we can incorporate into our game.

We’re ready to roll. We’re playing Phoenix in Phoenix and our girls have great spirits. We knew we
probably weren’t going to win this game even without (Sue) Bird because they’re a well-oiled
machine and Coach (Dan) Hughes has them playing well. For us, it’s just sticking with our positives
and what we want to do. We tried out a few new things to see if they could work because we don’t
have practice time. We practice (Monday) after we fly and then we play Tuesday. For us it was to try
out some things on a really great team to see if it’ll work. If it’ll work against them, it’ll work against
anyone. But I’m really happy with the players – how well they played and how hard they played
today.”
(On a quick turnaround to start the playoffs)
“We’re good with that. They’re young. We don’t have anyone over 30 so no one should be tired or
worried. We’re going to rest tonight, practice tomorrow and we’ll get ready to play. When you throw
up the ball with a one-game series, it’s anybody’s game. (Phoenix) played today and we played
today so we both have the same amount of rest. Whether we fly or not doesn’t matter because
we’ve been doing it forever.”

WINGS FORWARD GLORY JOHNSON ………………………………………………………………………………………
(On the game)
“It was okay. We were all thinking positive. We know if we’re together and all play and weren’t
resting people then we could’ve gotten that win. We’re very confident about that, but Seattle is a
great team. They have a whole bunch of diverse players. Their low-post players are good – shout out
to my girl Courtney Paris. They mesh well and play well together. They pick and pop, know how to get
that dump pass to their post players and they worked hard today. We have a playoff game coming
up so we’re really trying to focus on that and make sure our bodies feel good going into the game.
That’s really our focus.”

(On the mindset going into this playoff game)
“It’s tough just knowing that this game is important. If we don’t play well, this game is the end. That’s
the mindset, but we also know what we’re capable of. We’re not nervous or worried. We’re just
focusing on playing together and playing as a team. Everyone knows what we can do when we play
together and we use all the threats that we have – that’s scary to think about. We have to focus and
not worry about anything and just play.”

(On if the must-win game at Las Vegas to make the playoffs gave them an advantage)
“For sure. Our mentality in that game was if we don’t win this game then that’s it for us. Knowing that
and seeing how we reacted … we bounced back and played well. We got the win that we needed
so to go into this next game will be the same mindset. Just play and have fun together and do what
we know how to do – that’s pretty much it.”

WINGS GUARD MAGGIE LUCAS ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
(On just joining the team)
“The last 24 to 48 hours have been pretty crazy. I got a call from my agent on Friday night saying this
may be a possibility so I was really excited. I’m honored and humbled to be a part of this team
because they’ve been through a ton of adversity and their level of resiliency is pretty remarkable. I’m
lucky to be here. It’s a great opportunity and I’ll try and help in any way I can.”

(On her mindset and what she can contribute)

“Right now I’m just trying to get my bearings. Since I got here last night I’ve been going over the
playbook, trying to get concepts down. I’m really just trying to cram for a test almost. That’s my focus
– just locked into the concepts. This team, I’ve only known them for a couple of hours, and they were
taking care of me like I’d been with them the whole season. It says a lot about them because they
helped me through tonight and gave me a lot of confidence.”

 

STORM HEAD COACH DAN HUGHES ………………………………………………………….
(On the game overall)
“This was a game where we wanted to try to get our team ready for the playoffs to be honest with
you and find success. To make the best of a situation that afforded us a chance to play all of our
players and I thought we did a pretty good job of it. We rested Sue [Bird], but we also limited the
minutes for some of the people that play a lot, but they got something out of it. We got good minutes
for our bench players and that was really important. These are hard games for coaches – when
you’re not playing for something they’re not the easiest games that a coach has. You want to get
something out of it. And the years that I feel best about, it happened just like this. People made best
of the opportunities, they made best of the minutes they got, and they did something that made
today better. It gives us an opportunity now to prepare ourselves for the semifinals as everything kind
of got clarified today.”

(On the bench play)
“They played to their strengths. I’ve liked Crystal [Langhorne] the last two games because she’s been
extremely aggressive, and I like the aggressive side of Crystal. Mercedes [Russell], that was good for
her to get out on the court and go against [Liz] Cambage because we’re going to play some bigs
no matter what happens down the road. I also thought Courtney [Paris] – Courtney got eight
rebounds, they played to their strengths. Sami [Whitcomb] brought an energy and shot the ball and
people that have gotten some minutes but maybe not a lot of minutes. All year we’ve tried as much
as we could in a couple ways to play the bench in a way so that they’re a part of who we are as we
reach this stage. It has also helped us to watch some of our starters’ minutes. That is what a good
bench does for you — it not only affords you a boost, it affords you an opportunity to get to the
playoffs playing players the amount of time that is conducive to keeping them on the floor.”

STORM FORWARD BREANNA STEWART ……………………………………………………….
(On playing just the first half)
“It was a decision I had to make to play or not to play, because there wasn’t much on the line for us
as far as playoffs go. I wanted to have a good rhythm going in and I don’t want to have more than a
week off between games. We knew that we had great fan support today and we wanted to go out
and put on a show for them. I made that decision yesterday. We were focused on the New York
game up until that point. I approached this game the same way. I was being aggressive, trying to
get us started, and off on the right foot, as far as the team tempo and pace, especially with Sue
[Bird] not out there.”

(On setting franchise scoring record)
“I think that was a really cool opportunity, experience, all of the above. Anytime I am able to break a
record, especially one that Lauren Jackson set, it’s huge. She was one of the best to ever play the
game, her versatility and creating that point forward position for us. I am happy to be here and it’s
an honor. This is only my third year but I know what I want to do, I know the type of player that I want
to turn into and I’m just trying to make that happen sooner than later.”

STORM FORWARD CRYSTAL LANGHORNE ………………………………………………….
(On the depth of the team)
“It is huge for us, going down the stretch and into the final games. We are going to need everybody.
We have a great starting five but they are going to need us too.”

(On the energy of the team and a week off)
“We are going to be fine. I think that we are a chill team. We will go and prepare and get ready for
our games. We don’t get too high or too low as a team, we are all pretty chill. I think it will be good
for us to just get some rest, and then get back in the gym and get ready.”