LIN DUNN: I thought we did tonight what I wish we'd done the other night, we had a great defensive effort. The difference in 84 points and 120 is I'm not a math major, you'll have to tell me, but it's a significant amount of points. I thought the fact that we were more focused on our defense, we really, really keyed in on that. I thought that was a significant factor in our win. We allowed no second chance points in the first half, only allowed 9 in the game, and then we attacked and got to the free throw line. Those were the three things that I thought we had to do to win and our bench came up big, Jessica Davenport, Briann January, and Tamecka Dixon were keys to us winning here tonight.
Q. Lin you got a much bigger night from Tamika, she was one short of a triple double.
LIN DUNN: I expect that every night. She had a super game. Early on she was attacking off the dribble, she didn't get into any foul trouble so she was able to get into an offensive rhythm. We were running sets for her to get going, so when she can stay in the game and not get into foul trouble. She is a totally different ballplayer, and she was one of six in double figures, I thought that was a key, too.
Q. Coach, in the first half, how big was it when you had the lead then the Mercury responded? They went on a run and then you went into the half going on a run to regain the lead. How much of a confidence booster was that for you?
LIN DUNN: Well, we expect them to go on runs. That's the type of team they are, and to match the runs, and we knew one was coming. So it was them trying to catch up to us, and us trying to catch up to them. And even down the stretch I knew it was important for them to I think the closest they got was 6 or 7. They have the capacity to score so quickly, and at times we let the zone bother us, and at times we didn't. I thought every time they had a run we matched it, and that's good to see, especially in their home arena.
Q. Lin you said you guys had to steal one here to get one on their home court. What kind of momentum does this send you back with?
LIN DUNN: Well, it makes us even so now we're back to even and we go back to our arena. I'm confident it will be sold out. There will be amazing, wonderful, crazy, Hoosier, Indiana Fever fans to welcome us back and having the opportunity to go home and play even is much better for us than, say, if we were 0 2.
We thought we could steal the first game, but we just didn't defend well enough and our players were not discouraged, they were not down, they were very optimistic about, okay, Coach keeps talking about if we defend better we'll win, and it's true.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the defensive effort Diana Taurasi, 7 of 22, Cappie Pondexter, 5 of 16 they're the main 1 2 punch of this team, and you held them in check and made 'em work.
LIN DUNN: I thought we did a good job of keeping them on one side of the floor and adjusting our two man scheme so that it was disruptive to them. We rotated people on them, everybody, everything on the perimeter at one time or another defended Cappie and Diana, so I thought we did well with that and we gave a shot up for (LeíCoe) Willingham or Tangela (Smith), but the plan was not to let Cappie and Diana beat us, and Penny Taylor, I'm not sure what happened to her. Did she get hurt?
Q. Split her lip.
LIN DUNN: Okay.
Q. Coach, your thoughts on Cappie Pondexter. I saw on the replay you were calling for a flagrant foul and after Tamika got the rebound on that one play she knocked Tamika over on the sidelines, was Cappie Pondexter playing overly aggressive in the game?
LIN DUNN: I don't think she was overly aggressive. It was obvious we had the game in hand, and when you're at home and the game is slipping away, sometimes your frustration shows. I know Cappie. She is a great sportsman. I didn't think anything. I was just trying to get the referee to give me an extra something.
Tamika Catchings and Briann January
Q. Tamika, this was a different night for you. What was the change in your mind set and the change in the game?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: I definitely felt the thing I needed to focus on was being more aggressive and staying out of foul trouble. Being on the court it was a different team out there, so being aggressive and stay staying on the court, staying out of foul trouble.
Q. Tamika, how important is it to steal one on the road?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Huge, huge for us! Coming into tonight's game we looked at the film after of Game 1 and the feel among each other was being able to hang in the game, go into overtime. And not being able to finish it out was a big deal. But we watched tape and looked at the things we needed to do differently and came out tonight. Our bench gave our bench was absolutely amazing tonight! Bri[ann January] always is amazing but Jessica Davenport stepping off the bench, J[essica] Mo[ore], Jessica [Davenport], Tamecka Dixon, everybody did a great job.
Q. You stole my question. I was going to ask about the bench, but Briann January, you can talk to that.
BRIANN JANUARY: Our starters have confidence, and they encourage us all the time. And our role is to maintain, and they have so much confidence in us it gives us confidence when with we step out on the court.
Q. Catch, Diana Taurasi has been struggling with her shot can you talk about that?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Do not underestimate Diana Taurasi ever, for my job, it's to play defense on D.T., I give her props, and it's a hard job. It's not easy by any means but for me making sure I'm there when she catches the ball being right there and Diana is going to she's a crafty player. So she is going to figure out how to get around, how to get to the basket, down the stretch, Cappie started stepping up but you never underestimate what Diana can do, she is going to look at both these tapes and be ready for Game 3.
Q. You had six players in double figures talk about the balance and how important that was.
BRIANN JANUARY: Yeah, you know, we have so many scorers on our team. We trust when we penetrate and kick, everybody just is told to be ready, be locked and loaded because we have people that penetrate and when you find 'em we want you to put it up.
Everybody on our team does a great job of finding each other and sharing the ball. We get people in double figures when you have people ready to score.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: That goes back to the confidence, having confidence in one another and believing that, hey, if I pass you the ball I expect you to shoot and I know that it's going in and even if it doesn't go in we know we have somebody down there to potentially get the rebound and everybody having that mentality, that helps.
Q. Tamika if I could follow up on the question a little more. Coach Gaines said you weren't doing anything differently, but you had results. Were you doing something different? What was it?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: Mixing it up more. Diana, her mindset, she's able to read how people play her. If you shoot the gap she knows how to fade. If you trail her she locks and curls, and for me trying to switch it up so she doesn't get comfortable with me doing the whole thing one game, one scheme.
So pushing her into my teammates and letting them help so that offensively we really play Diana. It's not just me individually. It's the whole team that focuses on Diana.
Q. We spent time yesterday talking about pace and tempo and how fast you guys want to play, was this the pace you guys wanted to play tonight?
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: I believe it is. You know, a lot of people question whether or not we can get up and down with them and, you know, I think that we are a team in the east that has consistently gotten up and down in transition buckets off of turnovers. We do run. I think the key has been for us, they want to run all the time and we have to learn when to slow it down.
I know sometimes they score two or three in a row, and at that point in time we got to as a team slow it down, get the ball down low. We did a great job. Tammy Sutton Brown, Ebony, Jessica Davenport, Jessica Moore, slowing it down, pounding the ball inside, so we're not getting caught up in the running game.
Q. What seems impressive for your squad this evening, it seemed like whenever the Mercury would go on some run, you would answer by scoring, getting a key rebound, disrupting the flow and taking control of the game.
TAMIKA CATCHINGS: That's what the game is all about, and that's what we have to continue to do. From the first game, one of the things we looked at was rebounding. They had 12 rebounds, 24 second chance points, and that was the first game. We came into the game knowing what we've got to do, keep 'em off the boards on the offensive end especially and one and done for most of the game.
I know they got a couple here and there, but we did a good job, and definitely there are going to be runs from both teams and how you answer the runs. It's not always about scoring it's about getting a defensive stop, getting the ball here and there, stopping Diana, stopping Cappie, doing different things like that.
Q: Are you guys able to breathe a sight of relief right now?
Hoffman: No. Weíre still in the moment right now. Weíre not breathing a sigh of relief. We knew we could do this. Now weíre going to go back home in front of our fans and try to get another game. It really is one game at a time right now. Theyíre going to play hard regardless. It doesnít matter what floor youíre on. You just have to try to go out there and get a win.
Q: What is it going to mean to have that homecourt advantage Sunday?
Hoffman: Those Indy fans are ruthless. I canít wait to go back and hear what they have to say. Iím just excited to get back home, get in my own bed and be in our arena. Familiar places are good right now.
Q: Was it tough to focus after such an emotionally draining game the other night?
Hoffman: It was emotionally draining. But we have really tough-minded people on this team. It didnít matter what happened. We kind of gift wrapped that game the other night for them. This game we came out with a different belief, more fight on defense, and we made sure we took care of all the little things.
Q: Only nine second chance points. You limited them to 40 percent shooting. Are you happy with the defense tonight?
Hoffman: We still have more to give defensively. We broke down on some plays. Our rotations were sometimes off. So, there are still a lot of things we need to clean up regardless of the win. Weíre excited, but weíre not overly happy.
Q: Only nine second chance points for them tonight. Held them to 40 percent shooting. How proud are you of the defensive effort tonight?
Douglas: Iím so proud of this team and the way we can bounce back. We didnít even really look at much game film. We just looked at the stat sheet from the other night. I think, for the fans, it was enjoyable the other night, but for us our defense is our M.O., and we got back to playing Fever defense tonight. We just played with a lot more energy, and a lot more effort and communication. Obviously, the rebounding numbers from the other night were overwhelming, 24 second-chance points. Everybody made a concerted effort to box out tonight. Also, to be able to disrupt them and get them to take some off-balance shots, not allowing them to shoot a high percentage was crucial.
Q: Did you feel like you definitely had to slow the pace down in the second half?
Douglas: We definitely did that in the fourth quarter. I donít think we were thinking that way in the third quarter, because we like run, too. A lot of people think of us as a grind it out team, but weíre at our best when weíre running and playing open and free. But, definitely in the fourth quarter, we knew they were going to make a run at us. We stayed composed, we stayed together, and we definitely made a concentrated effort to slow it down, get good looks. Even if werenít going to make a shot, we were going to take some time off the clock, in order to limit their possessions.
Q: What type of energy are you expecting from your home crowd?
Douglas: Oh my God, I cannot wait to get to go home to Indiana. Iíve gotten so many emails, texts. Itís going to be so awesome. Iím so excited. Iím hearing that itís a sellout crowd. People are hitting me up for tickets. Unfortunately for some friends and family, you might be too late. Itís going to be awesome. I think Indianapolis is extremely excited about us coming home on Sunday, and weíre hoping to play in front of a very full Conseco Fieldhouse.
Q: How important was this win tonight?
Douglas: It was so important. To be able to steal a game on the road, in the WNBA Finals, itís just huge. It shows the character of this team, the leadership, the composure. Everybody contributed tonight. To be able to get this win speaks volumes, but at the same time we know Phoenix isnít going to lie down, and it starts with us on Sunday.
Head Coach Corey Gaines
COREY GAINES: They shot the ball well again. We did not shoot the ball well. We didn't play well at all. But it happens sometimes. This year it's happened a couple of times and we've always come back from it. So, any questions?
Q. Corey, was it something they were doing defensively? What kind of changes did they make from the way you guys played Tuesday?
COREY GAINES: They played the same type of defense, we just missed shots, we missed more shots and we tried to get to the basket and we missed those shots, too.
Q. Coach, in the first half when Indiana had the lead then the Mercury responded and you guys went up and Indiana regained the lead going into the half, how crucial was that and what kind of a tone setter for the game?
COREY GAINES: Well, you want to finish up the quarters or the half strong, which we didn't. It was only a 3 point lead if I'm correct. Was it 3 or 5? 3? I can't remember exactly.
But it wasn't that crucial, we got another whole half to play. We just came out flat in the third, we came out flat.
Q. Coach, can you give us an update on Penny Taylor and how did losing her in the second half affect you guys?
COREY GAINES: It definitely hurt, she had 14 in the first half and she got hit in the mouth, I'm not sure, I haven't talked to the doctors so I don't know exactly what's wrong, so I don't want to say something I don't know for sure. I know for sure she'll play next game. I know Penny Taylor -she'll play next game, for sure, 100%.
Q. Coach, Cappie this morning said that the team needed to bring it for forty minutes, do you feel that your team brought it for forty minutes?
COREY GAINES: No, we didn't, we didn't. We had lapses where they ran us instead of us running them, they got easy buckets. So it happens sometimes to us. If I had to answer to that it would never happen. But I don't. But I'm sure I'll watch the film and I'll figure it out. If I had the answer to thatÖ
Q. You guys can live and die with Cappie and Diana, and they didn't have a great night. It didn't seem like they were doing that much different on defense.
COREY GAINES: They weren't. We missed shots and instead of taking the three's, we decided to go in and get to the basket. They were attacking the basket, so last game they called fouls and this game we didn't get to the line so it's one of those things.
Q. Coach, Tammy Sutton Brown seemed to have her way down low, how do you rectify that in Game 3?
COREY GAINES: Stop her from getting so deep, stop her from getting so deep. Trying to get her out of the lane, it's tough. She's good at it. Open court she runs down and plants herself down there and gets some easy shots.
Q. Coach, your thoughts on going to Indiana now and trying to capture Game 3 on the road?
COREY GAINES: Well, last time we played there we won, so it's not like it's an impossible dream. This year without me you know, I didn't play Diana that last game in L.A. We have not lost two games in a row, and if I'm knowing Diana and Cappie when they do have sub par shooting nights they usually come back vicious. So it's a good thing.
Q. Coach, one of the advantages you had were points off the bench and aside from Penny Taylor who scored 14 four other players only scored eight. What do you have to do to get them going?
COREY GAINES: Well, we get those points from Ketia, DeWanna and Penny, and Penny was out the second half. That hurt us a little bit but we didn't get the second chance point put backs, and the game slowed down to a stall. If it wasn't the ball out of bounds it was a foul, a time out, it was something. You know, tip ball, side out of bounds, something. So that hurts us.
Q. Coach, can you talk about the way Briann January played in this game?
COREY GAINES: She played great. She didn't play like a rookie. She hit some shots, hit some big three's when they needed 'em. She's playing great, great player.
Diana Taurasi and Temeka Johnson
Q. Diana, second game in a row you and Cappie struggled with your shots early on and then sort of picked it up a little too late. Can you talk about that and why that's happening?
DIANA TAURASI: Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't. And that's the way it goes sometimes. We just have to stay to what we've been doing the whole season. There is no panic. There is no second guessing of any sorts.
So they came out and just played a better basketball game, I'm not going to the struggles we had shooting the ball wasn't the reason why we lost the game so, you know, comes and goes, you know, we're known to be pretty consistent on that side.
On the other end, I don't think we did a good enough job to win the game.
Q. What was the reason you lost the game?
DIANA TAURASI: Well, the reason we lost the game is they scored more points than us. Which is as simple and as plain as I can put it. They ran down the court, right underneath the basket, and shot easy shots the whole game. And, you know, against a really good team like them, that gives them confidence, and they're off and rolling.
Q. Cappie said this morning that you needed to bring it for forty minutes, didn't happen. Coach agreed with that. Tameka, what do you think?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: You said it, didn't happen. We brought it for 8 out of the 40, and that can't happen in The Finals. This isn't the regular season. This isn't the Western Conference Championship, and everybody is playing for that one trophy. You have to bring it from the beginning, and that's something we didn't do.
Q. In a sense, if I'm correct, I believe Coach Gaines said, Diana, that at one point I believe he said you came out flat. Would you agree with that assessment?
DIANA TAURASI: I think we came out flat, you know, in the first and the third quarter, and like ĎMek said, we didn't play with that sense of urgency that needs to be done at this point in the season. There is just no room to play with that lack of focus.
And now we're going to have to get it back. We have two days to prepare and, you know, home court is on their side now. They get to go home with two to close it out. Series can swing either way really quick, and it's swung in their favor pretty quick tonight.
Q. Any defensive difference, anything that they were doing tonight? Any change from the way they played Tuesday night?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: I don't think it was anything different that they did defensively. I think we just didn't do anything defensively. When it comes down to it, you have to man up and say I'm going to do my job, I'm going to stop. Actually basketball is really one on one, it's five people out there, but when you're matched up with that person it's one on one and you got to hold your own for as long as possible, and I don't think we did what we need to do defensively.
Q. When a player like Tamika Catchings has a great game like that you spend so much energy
DIANA TAURASI: She almost had a triple double, huh?
Q. Yeah, how does it affect your game when you have to expend so much energy?
DIANA TAURASI: It doesn't affect me on the other end. It affects the result of the game. We knew she was going to have a great game after Game 1. That's just the kind of player she is. We all knew that. I think we did a better job in the second half of containing her.
But she can hurt you in so many ways. Off the glass, driving, kicking, finding open players, I mean, she was phenomenal tonight really.
Q. D., Penny was having a great first half she scored 14 points and got knocked out in the first half. How huge was that not having her there in the second half?
DIANA TAURASI: For us it's huge. Pen is a big part of what you do, and when you don't have her there you're missing that. But we have other players on this roster that stepped up the whole season, so that's when it's another opportunity for someone else to step up and we didn't have that.
Q. You guys were kind of closing the gap late in the game and the ball was rolling off the rim a couple of second chance shots, and they weren't going in. Did you have the sense that that wasn't that kind of night?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: No, we're going to fight till the end. We can't rely on that. We're going to fight till the end even though the balls were rolling out. As you can see we were still going hard and trying to get after it.
Q. Diana, you were in this position before back in The Finals when you talked about the no sense of panic whatsoever, can you talk about the composure of this team your being confident that you can go on the road and pull off some victories in Indiana?
DIANA TAURASI: That's the only way to be. They came in here tonight and showed the character they have as a unit. To lose a tough game like that and come in here and play a great game.
To make it this far you have to have, you know, strong character and people that can recognize where there is a problem and try to fix it, and that's what we're going to have to do when we go to Indiana. And a lot of that can be fixed by just communicating and energizing each other. So that's what we're going to do, communicate and energize each other.
Q: There were a lot of shots. You shot 39 percent, but it wasnít like you werenít getting them up there.
Pondexter: I mean, we just have to knock those shots down. They werenít falling tonight. But weíre confident in each other, and I know, we havenít lost two in a row all year, and I donít think anybodyís going to stop that.
Q: How did the loss of Penny in the second half affect you?
Pondexter: It affected us a lot, especially our rotation. It wasnít as deep as it normally is but some things happen like that, but we have to keep fighting no matter what.
Q: Second game in a row where you guys sort of picked it up late. How do you correct that Game 3?
Pondexter: Just bring the energy. Thatís the basic point. Bring the energy for forty minutes.
Q: Anything theyíre doing defensively thatís stopping you guys?
Pondexter: They were aggressive. More aggressive than they were the first game. They play hard, they made some shots. [Briann] January came off the bench. [Jessica] Davenport gave them some lift. They knocked shots down when they needed to. We made a run and they came back and made another run.
Q: How will you adjust for the next game?
Bonner: Tough loss, one loss. We just have to go on the road and regroup. We have to become more focused. We have to focus more on our defense. They came out shooting and banging us down in the post, so we just have to get better.
Q: Cappie said that you need to bring it for forty minutes. Do you think thatís the case?
Bonner: We waited until we got down to try and come back and it was too late.
Q: It seems like [Tammy] Sutton-Brownís getting pretty good position down low. How do you correct that next game?
Bonner: We just have to stop her in transition. Donít let her get too deep. Itís getting her before she gets the block. Just for the rest of them Ė [Jessica] Davenport, Ebony [Hoffman], all of them Ė does a great job of burying it.