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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 92, Sparks 56

Storm (15-11) 92, Los Angeles (19-8) 56
August 6, 2003

STORM FORWARD LAUREN_JACKSON:

On the game:
This was the first game of the rest of the season and we need to get the wins to make the playoffs. We had to win this game. It was a must win and we won the game.

On Coach Anne Donovan’s halftime speech:
She had a bit to say. We weren’t playing well and we should have been up by a lot more. She kicked us in the bum and that was it. She made everyone think anyway.

On her play:
Tonight just felt really easy for me. I couldn’t hit anything from outside but, you know what, you still have to shoot them. I had thirty-some points, I’m happy.

The inside moves are what I work on every single day and normally I hit the shots from outside. I just got more shots from inside the paint. Coach said that’s where my game’s at and that’s where I scored most of my points.

On shooting just one free throw:
They weren’t really physical with me. Normally they’ve got DeLisha Milton and she’s everywhere and you can’t move.

GUARD SUE BIRD:

On Jackson’s play:
She was awesome tonight, right from the get-go. She did it all for us. There’s not much more to say. Obviously we knew that they’re not the same LA team that they normally are without Lisa (Leslie) and DeLisha. We were going to go inside to Lauren all game. She also made some tough shots.

On the playoff race:
We’re in kind of the same situation as last year. That Minnesota loss kind of put us in this situation and things would have been a little bit different. We’re just taking it one game at a time and I’m really glad at the way the game it turned out.

It’s not as desperate as last year. There is a little undertone of it but hopefully we’re fighting more for playoff position than just making the playoffs. Sacramento is on the rise and San Antonio is playing better. We realize that we’re not a shoe in. We have eight games left and we want to win every one.

On this Friday’s matchup with Minnesota:
Minnesota is a unique team in the way they play their match-ups with us. They’re very tall on the perimeter and it will be a game of match-ups. We really haven’t been able to crack them. We were close twice and even the one game that I didn’t play I thought we could have won and obviously last time was right there for the taking. We just need to get ready for Friday and we’ll probably change some things in the game plan and go from there. We’ve just been unlucky in some of our prior outings.

SPARKS COACH MICHAEL COOPER:

On the game:
We got a good ol’ fashioned butt-whippin’. They’re a good team and we’re a little undermanned right now. But there’s no excuse for the lack of effort we’re showing out there. Again, they took it right to us. They played well and rebounded the ball well. They really neutralized our inside game and turned us into a perimeter shooting team. We’re not at our best when we’re just shooting jump shots.

On Jackson’s play:
Lauren Jackson is Lauren Jackson. She’s the same Lauren Jackson she was the first time we played them. She’s putting herself in the MVP race. She did it all tonight. We did a couple of things to try and contain her, but it was a good team effort by them.

On turning things around:
We’ll find a way. The good thing is we’re 18-9 and we’re still in the hunt. All we need to do is win some games. We have to rebound and do all the fundamental things of basketball right now.

GUARD TAMECKA DIXON:

On the game:
Seattle has always been a tough team for us. They’re definitely a playoff team and contender and somebody we’ll probably see down the line. We tried to hang in there. We’re battling injures and it just so happens that we got beat by 30. I don’t think we should have gotten beat by 30. They played well. We came out in the second half and Lauren Jackson beat us down the court for layups. That set the tone for the whole second half.

On Jackson:
(Lauren) pulled out the offensive arsenal on us tonight with all kinds of (stuff) that I’ve never seen her do before. She played well, but we didn’t put up a fight.

On turning things around:
We need to get healthy. Everybody’s battling injuries. We have to go into the playoffs on a positive note. If we can win a couple games on the road going into the playoffs, we’ll be fine.

Notes:

  • The Storm won its seventh straight game at home, extending the franchise record. For the Sparks, this was the fourth straight loss. The 36-point margin of defeat was the largest in Sparks history, eclipsing the previous high of 25 8/9/99 vs. Detroit. For the Storm, 36 points was the second-largest margin of defeat in franchise history and 92 points were the second-highest offensive output in history. The Storm dominated the second half, outscoring Los Angeles 56-23 to turn a close game into the blowout. The 56 points are a Storm record for a half.
  • Lauren Jackson had a monster game. Jackson finished with a career-high and franchise-record 34 points, making 17 of her 23 field goals. The 17 made field goals set a new WNBA record, beating the previous 15 by Cynthia Cooper at Charlotte, 8/11/97, and Jackson’s 11 first-half field goals tied the WNBA record. Jackson scored 22 points in the first half, tying the Storm record for a half and setting a first-half record. Only six players have ever scored as many as 34 points in a game in WNBA history. That also ties the WNBA season high, with Katie Smith (7/10 vs. CON) and Chamique Holdsclaw (7/24 vs. IND). Jackson scored 20 straight points in a stretch from the 17:53 mark to the 8:23 mark of the first half.
  • Jackson extended her streak of games with 15 or more points to 25 and double-figures scoring to 45. She grabbed 13 rebounds for her fifth straight double-double, the third-longest streak in WNBA history. It was the eighth double-double this season for Jackson and the 17th of her career, which now ties her for tenth place on the WNBA’s all-time list with Elena Baranova and Tamika Catchings.
  • Sue Bird recorded her seventh double-double of the season and the tenth of her career, finishing with 10 points and 10 assists.
  • Mwadi Mabika led the Sparks, playing without Lisa Leslie and DeLisha Milton, with 15 points and 10 assists, her first double-double of the season. Nikki Teasley also scored 15 for the Sparks, and reserve Nicky McCrimmon scored double-figures for the second time this season, finishing with 10 points.
  • Led by Jackson and Kamila Vodichkova (11 points), the Storm dominated in the paint, finishing with a dramatic 58-16 advantage in points in the paint. The Storm is now 11-2 this season when leading or tied in that category.