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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Detroit 95, Storm 86

Detroit (22-9) 95, Storm (16-14) 86
August 17, 2003

STORM COACH ANNE DONOVAN:

On the key to the game:
No defense in the second half. No defense. Fifty-eight points we gave up in the second half, the same thing we did in Phoenix. We had a scouting report that wasn’t followed much of the time where we were double-teaming Swin Cash from the high post, instead we were double-teaming from the backside and getting killed on lay-ups from the backside. So when we adjusted to that we had better luck. No concentration in the second half. None. And nobody just stepping up and guarding them. Putting their foot down and just guarding them. They got it everywhere, six people in double figures. There was not one person on the floor who defended. Not one, from Sue (Bird) all the way down.

On fixing the problem:
It’s not a simple fix because it is what got us in Phoenix. Here we are same situation. Have a good lead, 18 points in Phoenix, 19 points tonight and we let it slip away. So it’s not an easy fix, if it were I would have done it.

On how the Shock was so effective offensively:
They got six people in double figures. They got us off the dribble, they got us from the perimeter, they got us in the post, they got us when we double-teamed, you name it they got it.

We were trying to get them to focus on our scouting report, which is where the double team would come from and not just where they wanted to get it from. When we did it as we planned to do it we had stops.

FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:

The last two games we’ve been up by so many points but we’ve gone away from what’s working and they got back into the game. We need to get back to how we were playing a couple of games ago.

On the difference the last two games:
It didn’t feel like it (was on defense). It didn’t necessarily feel like that. We weren’t getting back in defense when they were in transition when they got their running game going. They have some exceptionally good shooters. Deanna Nolan is unbelievable. There is no one in the league like her. We really need to focus on our game and quit focusing on the playoffs. If we focus on our game, we will make the playoffs. We seem to be worried about everything else and focusing on the playoffs. We need to focus on what we have to do and just win games. We still have four games to go and we need to have fun.

GUARD SUE BIRD:

On the Shock’s offense:
One of the things Detroit does really well and it gets them going on all other aspects of their game is their transition. They got back in with their transition and from that point they gained their confidence.

On letting the Shock back in the game:
A team that’s down 20 in the first seven minutes, you make them go down 30 because then they don’t think they can come back. All of a sudden they’re down 10; they’ve crept back in the game.

On the Shock’s offense:
To their credit they found the open man. We were doubling the post and they were able to get lay-ups, which is partly our fault for not helping each other.

On the rest of the season:
I think every game is a must win. To even have a chance we have to win every game. It’s a tough spot, but hopefully we’ll play better. Our backs are against the wall, how are we going to react to it?

SHOCK COACH BILL LAIMBEER:

On the game:
It’s pretty awesome to come back from 21-2! Our team has good composure and mental toughness. We never quit. I told them just to hang and that all the pressure was on Seattle. I told them to hang around, keep it close in the second half and they would have a chance to win this basketball game. To watch our intensity in the second half … it was awesome. It was so much fun to watch. Our team really played playoff basketball in the second half to show everybody what we’re made of.

On the slow start (0-12 shooting):
I don’t think we came out flat. I think we came out a little bit confused. We didn’t think Swin was going to play. It was a last-second decision on our part. We weren’t prepared offensively for that and Seattle came out with all the intensity and emotion in the world. Emotion only carries you so far. It carried them to a nice lead, but we slowly pecked away and took over in the second half.

On having two MVP candidates on the floor:
All I know is I can only talk about my player. I thought, in the second half, Swin Cash was an unbelievable basketball player. Not only did she make all the plays offensively – scoring, but also distributing the ball. Her passes were right on the money. Rebounding was there -- her whole effort in that second half exuded leadership.

FORWARD SWIN CASH:

On the slow start:
Yeah, we came out a little flat. It’s the end of a West coast road trip so you kind of expect that, but our mental toughness and intensity showed. We figured if we played hard for 40 minutes, it would turn around, and it did.

On her ankle:
It’s bummed, but it’s no time to worry about injuries.

On the Shock’s mindset as the playoffs near:
It was one of our goals to clinch the East, but we want the best overall record so we can have home court (advantage) throughout the playoffs. That’s what we’re fighting for these last games. There are no nights off for us. Both conferences are so tight in the three and four (playoff) spots that every team we play is contending, except for our last game against Washington. We’re trying to go out and win every single game so we control our own destiny.

GUARD DEANNA NOLAN:

On coming back from the deficit:
In the first half, we couldn’t hit a shot and they were hitting everything. Coming out in the second half, we were only down eight. We knew we were a running team and would just have to run them and get good, open shots. That’s what happened. We got them off the rebounds and turnovers and that’s what did it for us.

On hitting some big shots:
That was the whole strategy. We were without Cheryl (Ford) so (Coach Laimbeer) was just saying the whole game, ‘Just raise up, guards, take your shots.’ We were hitting them in the second half.

On what this win does for the Shock:
I think it helps us prepare for the playoffs because we were down 19, came back and won. It taught us not to give up and keep playing hard. Of course, that’s what got us back in the game

Notes:

  • The loss was the third straight for the Storm, and the second straight at KeyArena. Detroit snapped a one-game losing streak with the victory. The Shock takes the season series between the two teams, winning both games.
  • Detroit’s 95 points and 58 second-half points were both Storm opponent records. The previous game opponent high was 87 against San Antonio on 8/12. This is the first time the Storm has ever given up 90 points. The previous half opponent high was 48, three times, most recently 7/26 at Sacramento. The Shock’s 26 made free throws were a Storm opponent season high.
  • With 10 first-half points, Lauren Jackson extended her streak of games with ten or more points to 49. She finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Her double-double was her eighth in nine games, her 11th of the season and the 20th of her career. Jackson and Sue Bird (20 points) gave the Storm a pair of 20-point scorers for the sixth time in franchise history. It is the fourth time these two players have scored 20 in the same game.
  • The Storm raced out to a 21-2 lead by the 12:33 mark, when Detroit called a full timeout, still not having made a field goal. Seattle also scored the game’s first 12 points, holding the Shock scoreless for a 5:08 period. After the timeout, the Shock made its next nine field-goal attempts, going on an 11-2 run to get back in the game. The Shock used an 18-2 run in the second half to take the lead.
  • Storm center Simone Edwards, who returned to the bench after one game in the starting lineup in place of injured center Kamila Vodichkova, had ten first-half points off the bench, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds. The 16 points were a season-high, Edwards’ second double-figures scoring effort of the season and the 30th of her Storm career. Both benches played key roles in the game, with the Shock’s bench outscoring the Storm’s 39-24.
  • Detroit finished with a commanding 19-2 advantage in fast-break points. The Storm is now 6-6 this season when outscored in fast-break points.
  • Deanna Nolan’s 18 points led six Shock players in double-figures (Cash, 16; Holland-Corn, 15; Farris, 14; Powell, 12; and Riley, 10). Riley led Detroit with 11 rebounds, tying her career high (previously set 8/15 @ Sacramento and 7/10/01 @ Orlando). Riley’s double-double was her first of the season. Farris’ 14 points were a season high, beating her 10 points vs. Connecticut on 6/5. The Shock did not block a shot for the first time all season.