Postgame Quotes: Western Conference Finals Game 2

SPARKS HEAD COACH MICHAEL COOPER

(On the game:) It was a very good basketball game tonight by both teams. It kind of looks like whichever team jumps out on the other team first is usually the team that wins the game. I thought we [Sparks] stuck to our game-plan. One of the most important things was keeping them [Mercury] off the 3-point line. Our bigs came to play and I think our size messed with them a little bit on the inside. What a heck of a game though. We know that Phoenix will come out tomorrow and give everything theyve got but so will we.

(On 1st Quarter Run:) We knew it was important for us to come out and get going. We didnt do that back in Los Angeles in Game 1. We came out very focused today and we were hitting our shots. We didnt focus on the officials at all. We were just playing basketball.

(On tomorrow nights Game 3:) I think we can come out tomorrow night and do the same thing we did tonight. We are going to come out tomorrow and give it our best shot. Both teams are hungry to get to the WNBA Championship and to win a championship. Its going to be the team that plays the best tomorrow that will get the win.

SPARKS CENTER LISA LESLIE

(On the game:) We were in a must win situation. I thought we came out tonight and played some really good team basketball. The Mercury is a very tough team to stop. Their ability to shoot the ball and score points in such a fast pace and in bunches has presented problems for us. I thought we did a better job setting up our offense and executing as well as sticking to our defensive schemes.

(On the 1st Quarter:) In Game 1 they [Mercury] really came out and jumped on us. We knew it was important for us to come out tonight and start the game strong. We wanted to be the aggressors. Since we have size on them we are obviously going to pound it in. Since they have speed on us they are going to shoot it.

(On the difference tonight:) I think Diana [Taurasi] said it first. Its all about will to win. We arent ready to go home. Weve assembled this team in hopes of winning a championship. Every team is really good at this point and obviously the Mercury are #1 right now. Were not going to go away. We look forward to tomorrow. We feel like our chances are very good on a back-to-back. Hopefully for their shooters the basket gets a little tighter and the ball gets a little bit heavier and we can keep crashing the boards.

MERCURY HEAD COACH COREY GAINES

(Opening Statement:) We didnt do two key things, which is score the ball and rebound. If you dont do those things its going to be a tough night, and we never got into our style of play. We didnt rebound the ball, and those second chance shots and rebounds really hurt us.

(On what will change tomorrow in Game 3:) I know well be ready and running tomorrow. We have to box out, and those second chance shots really kill you, it becomes either a one on one or a free throw and it really slows everything down. We have to push our wheel on them to make them go faster.

MERCURY GUARD DIANA TAURASI

(On the first quarter:) They came out like the team that had to win the game, and they did that throughout the 40 minutes. We played like the team that was up one to zero, and for whatever reason it is one to one and Game 3 tomorrow at home so we cant really ask for anything more. Basketball comes down to how many plays you make, we could talk Xs and Os but at the end of the day it comes down to how many plays you make.

(On what went wrong tonight vs. the Sparks:) We always rely on our offensive side of things but when were playing really well we get opportunities on the defensive side. We find a way and today we didnt find a way and when we did it was a little bit too late, they were rolling they felt really good about themselves and theyre a tough team.

(On the play of Lisa Leslie:) Im not going to give an inch and Lisa is probably one of the greatest competitors weve ever had in this game. You either stand up to her or you go sit on the bench and watch her dominate people so, Im going to try my best.

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