• Print

Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 68, Minnesota 65

Storm (16-11) 68, Minnesota (15-13) 65
August 8, 2003

STORM COACH ANNE DONOVAN:

On the game:
I felt better for the most part on how we were playing defensively (in the second half). Offensive boards have been our nemesis and something we have to clean up especially against a team like Minnesota. So other than the offensive glass, I thought we really stepped up against them.

I think we kept our composure, we stayed after it. Lauren (Jackson)’s offensive rebound, she’s in tons of traffic, she’s been getting hit all night and she scores that. Our bench was huge. We got 20 points from our bench. Alisa Burras coming in to that other post spot. We were able to find someone to convert and gave us great minutes. Rita Williams, same thing. Our key was our bench and how well they played.

On using the bench more:
Right now when Sandy (Brondello) struggles we’re going to go with Rita. When Sandy steps on the floor and does real well, she’s going to stay out there. It takes pressure off Sandy to know that she doesn’t have to be the only one. Same thing for Kamila (Vodichkova). We have Simone (Edwards) and Alisa who are ready to go. And we finally have some help from Amanda which has been a long time coming. She’s struggled to find her groove but she played some good minutes for us tonight.

On getting balanced scoring:
We knew going in it was going to have to be that way. They were going to try to shut Lauren down, which they tried to do. Sixteen points is well below what she’s been doing. So that was their focus and we knew that other players were going to have to step up.

On playing well at home:
We enjoy playing in KeyArena obviously. They really helped us tonight, the comforts of our own home.

FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:

On the game:
It was a hard fought game and we won. We made some big plays in the last three minutes. We made some stops and Rita made a huge shot. Amanda (Lassiter) was so mature about those last two free throws.

On Burras’ play:
Alisa really hasn’t played that much all season but for her to get out that and play like that was huge for her. She’s amazing, she’s aggressive, she works hard. She works the hardest out of all of us.

On her teammates:
The good thing about our team is that we can really pick each other up. If one person isn’t playing well another person steps up until everyone gets going.

GUARD SUE BIRD:

On beating the Lynx:
This is a team that, for whatever reason, we couldn’t get past them. It was nice to do that, on our home court, in front of everybody and it put us two games in front of them now which is huge for the playoffs. This is tough team and we can’t underestimate them at all. The WNBA is a game of match-ups. Each team has something different to bring.

On the momentum shift:
We changed our offense at one point. We went from our regular offense to a pick-and-roll like thing. I scored off that, Rita got that lay-up, they had trouble guarding that. We were able to get that four-point lead at the 10-minute mark.

LYNX COACH SUZIE MCCONNELL SERIO:

On the game:
Once again, it was a great game. It came down to the last minute and they came up with the offensive rebound when they needed to and hit their free throws. We just couldn’t convert when we needed to, but it was just a hard fought game. I thought their bench stepped up and gave them a great deal. They hit key shots when they needed them. I’m very proud of the way we fought for 40 minutes. Down the stretch, we didn’t come up with the big defensive stop we needed. We had opportunities, but didn’t capitalize.

On containing Jackson:
She’s a great player who draws a lot of attention. One-on-one, she’s very difficult to stop. We sent double teams at her and tried to keep her off the boards. We did that for the most part, but she came up with a huge one at the end.

On turning things around on the road:
Right now, it’s mind over matter going back-to-back tomorrow … getting our confidence back and going 40 minutes against a good team (Sacramento), who’s probably one of the hottest in the league. It’s a mindset right now that we have to go and play with a little more sense of urgency knowing the situation we’re in.

GUARD KATIE SMITH:

On the game:
It wasn’t pretty. It was a back-and-forth, see-saw battle. They got up four or five, and that makes it tough, especially in the last four minutes of the game. They ran, they executed, made some big plays. Defensively, we just didn’t get any stops and rebounding was the key there at the end. They had some bodies in there and took advantage of it. We didn’t get the job done when we needed to so it’s a tough one. We put ourselves in a tough situation. We have a big game tomorrow night (at Sacramento) so we can’t dwell on this very long. We have to move on and try and get out there and get a “W”.

On fellow MVP candidate Jackson:
LJ is great. She’s versatile. She’s similar to Lisa (Leslie) in that she can step out and also play down low. She’s strong and is always a defensive presence inside. She has that little attitude about her and gets her team fired up. She just can do a lot of different things and is hard to guard. She’s doing nice things for her team when they need it. Her and Sue (Bird), that’s a 1-2 punch right there.

On containing Jackson:
Yeah, we did a nice job of doubling her, but she passed out of it. When she puts the ball on the floor, you just have to stay between her and the basket and make her make some tough shots, which she did. We didn’t allow her to get off and shoot threes, but our posts did a nice job.

On turning things around on the road:
We felt pretty good tonight, but defensively we weren’t on the same page and we made some bad decisions. Just a few things here and there and it could’ve been a different story. I think we’re still confident in what we can do. Last time we lost at Sac … they beat us pretty good and we didn’t play real well. Hopefully that’ll be some motivation, on top of that, trying to keep ourselves in the fourth playoff spot. There’s a lot riding on tomorrow night’s game so hopefully we’ll go in there with a lot of excitement, pick it up and go.

Notes:

  • This was the Storm’s first win of the season against Minnesota. The Lynx still took the season series by a 3-1 final. The Storm now leads Minnesota and Sacramento by a game and a half for the third playoff seed in the Western Conference. The Lynx and the Monarchs are tied for the fourth seed heading into their matchup tomorrow in Sacramento. The victory was the Storm’s eighth straight at home. Minnesota has lost three in a row and six of seven away from the Target Center.
  • Lauren Jackson finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds, five blocks and three steals for the Storm, leading the team in all four categories. Her five blocked shots tied her season high, previously set 7/18 at Detroit. The double-double was Jackson’s sixth straight, which ties the all-time WNBA record. Three other players have recorded six straight double-doubles – Detroit’s Cindy Brown (7/31/98-8/11/98), Utah’s Natalie Williams (7/18/00-8/2/00) and Los Angeles’ Lisa Leslie (5/24/03-6/7/03). Jackson also extended her scoring streaks. She now has 26 straight games with 15 or more points - the second-longest streak of all-time and just three away from Cynthia Cooper’s WNBA record - and 46 straight games in double-figures scoring. Jackson’s double-double was her ninth of the season and the 18th of her career, keeping her tied with Indiana’s Tamika Catchings for the tenth-best total in WNBA history.
  • Led by Jackson, the Storm blocked a season-high 10 shots. Simone Edwards and Amanda Lassiter blocked two shots apiece.
  • The Lynx outrebounded the Storm 36-27. Minnesota is now 14-6 when outrebounding its opponents and the Storm is 5-8 when grabbing less rebounds. The Lynx was led by forward Tamika Williams, who tied her career high with 12 rebounds. Williams, the league’s leading shooter, added 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting for her first double-double of the season and the fourth of her two-year career. Guard Katie Smith led Minnesota with 20 points on 6-for-14 shooting, scoring 13 of her points after halftime, before fouling out with 12 seconds left. Janell Burse added 14 for the Lynx.
  • The Storm trailed as late as the 7:55 mark, by a 50-49 score, before taking the lead for good on an Alisa Burras score. Burras, who finished with six points, all in the second half, and guard Sue Bird keyed the Storm’s comeback in the second half from a deficit as large as five points. Bird had 10 of her 14 points in the second half, eight of them in a stretch of just over five minutes to keep the Storm in the game.
  • Both teams are in the top half of the WNBA in three-point shooting but struggled from downtown tonight. The Storm made one of ten threes, Minnesota one of nine.