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Postgame Quotes and Notes - Lynx 77, Storm 72

Lynx 77, Storm 72
June 14, 2003

STORM COACH ANNE DONOVAN:

On the game:
We played 20 minutes of basketball tonight. We can’t get in that big of a hole and expect to get out of it. But we take away good things and the things we didn’t do well we can take care of.

On Amanda Lassiter’s play:
We’ve been working Amanda in. She played well against Indiana but we’ve been struggling for the back-up for Adia (Barnes) for most of the season. I think the more she plays, the more confidence she gets. There were a couple of times when she got beat but she hustled herself back into making the play. She’s long , she takes pride in her defense. It’s a tough matchup for her with Katie Smith who is much stronger. I think she was fired up to get a shot.

On the upcoming road trip:
The good thing is that we’ve seen all these teams. Phoenix is just hungry. They have a little different look than they had last time and they’re just going to get better. We know were going to see a good game from them. They know our personal pretty well with (Gary) Kloppenburg and (Carrie) Graf having worked with some of our players. And LA and Sacramento are two of the best teams. Sacramento’s record may not indicate that but they are one of the best. But having played well here lately, we’re going into those games with some confidence.

FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:

On the Storm’s play:
I think we could’ve come back at the end of the game but we didn’t get the calls we wanted. The first 20 minutes was pretty bad and we dug ourselves a bit of a hole but we did get out of it. We’ll learn from it.

On what was missing:
Everything we’ve had the last three games. We just didn’t have the same focus. You can’t play bad basketball for 20 minutes and expect to come back from it. We worked really hard in the second half and we came back.

On Katie Smith:
She played well and caught fire. Unfortunately we couldn’t stop the three and we couldn’t last game either. It wasn’t just one person’s fault it was everybody. We didn’t switch and help like normal and she got off to a flying start. It hurts (when she makes a “three”). It’s like a dagger. It’s like, “I can’t believe you just shot that and it went in.” But you know she’s very tough and she’s a great player. She’s awesome. Maybe we were a little under-prepared for her mentally going into the game. We worked and trained like usual but maybe our focus just wasn’t there.

GUARD SUE BIRD:

On the outcome:
We’re all a little disappointed. I think if you look at the first half that’s what killed us. But if there can be a positive, it’s the way we came back in the second half. We really made it a game.

On matching up with Teresa Edwards:
She’s very smart. She does everything within her ability. She likes to run the offense and get everyone involved so that’s maybe why they had so many open looks in the first half.

On the upcoming road trip:
We’re looking forward to the road trip. You can really prove yourself on the road. It’s going to be a tough trip, but it’s only a week.

LYNX COACH SUZIE MCCONNELL SERIO:

On the Game:
I’m very proud of the way we came out in the first half. Our backs were a little bit against the wall coming off three straight losses. Tonight we were focused in the first half and executed very well, which was something we talked about going into this game.

I was also very proud of the way we handled the run that Seattle made. At halftime we talked about being able to withstand the runs they’d make because they are not a team that’s going to just lay down and die. Knowing Anne Donovan and knowing that team, they were going to come out fighting – and they did. But we found a way to hold on and win.

On Katie Smith:
She was unbelievable. The funny thing is that’s the way we expect Katie to play all the time and she finally came out and did that. It was a tremendous performance for her. I don’t think we could have asked for anymore from her. She was tremendous from the three-point line and that will always open up our inside game. When Katie’s feeling it, you know you have to give her the ball.

GUARD KATIE SMITH:

On the game:
We feel good, obviously, about how we played. We knew we had to get into the offense and take what they gave us. We shot the ball better from the outside, or at least I did personally. Defensively we took them out of what they wanted and we came out strong. We knew they were going to come back, but we made plays when we needed to maintain our distance … just enough distance to creep out with a win.

On her shooting:
Finally! That’s about all I can say. I haven’t shot the ball real well this year, but I felt comfortable and got good looks. We have a lot of threats on our team and we’re all going to get open looks, but I know I personally haven’t done a good job of knocking them down. Tonight I was focused and able to get the ball in good spots.

GAME NOTES:

  • Minnesota’s victory snapped a pair of streaks: The Storm’s three-game winning streak, and three straight losses for the Lynx.
  • Minnesota guard Katie Smith had a huge night. Smith’s 32 points tied the Storm’s opponent record and were a season high. Her seven three-pointers tied the WNBA record and set her career high and the Lynx’s team record, and set the Storm’s opponent record. In the first half, Smith had 19 points and made all five of her three-point attempts, tying yet another Minnesota record.
  • The Lynx’s 48 points in the first half tied Minnesota’s team record for points in the first half and the Storm’s opponent record for points in any half. The Lynx’s 20 first-half field goals also tied a team record for a half.
  • Storm guard Sue Bird snapped a shooting slump, scoring 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting. It was her first double-digit scoring effort since she began being seriously bothered by chondromalacia in her left knee. Bird’s four assists were a season low.
  • The Storm had possession with a chance to tie with just over a minute remaining, but Lauren Jackson’s attempt inside missed.
  • Storm center Kamila Vodichkova tied her season high by scoring 12 points, her fourth consecutive game in double-figures.
  • Minnesota and Seattle combined for just 14 turnovers, seven apiece, setting a two-team record low for the Lynx.
  • The Lynx scored 12 consecutive points in the first half to go from trailing 13-11 to ahead 23-13. The run took just 2:21.