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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Los Angeles 68, Storm 50

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TONIGHT'S NOTES
  • The Storm sustained its worst loss ever in a season opener (previously by 17 in 2002 vs. NYL).
  • Los Angeles improved to 7-2 all-time in Season Openers. The Storm drops to 2-4.
  • The Sparks have won four straight games head-to-head against Seattle.
  • The Storm was held scoreless for a stretch of 7:45 during the second half. Los Angeles went on a 11-0 run.
  • The Storm shot a WNBA-record 32 3-pointers. The previous Storm record was 27 against the Houston Comets on July 27, 2002. The WNBA record was 30, done four times.
  • Seattle's 23.7% shooting (18-76) was the worst in franchise history. Previously, the Storm shot 24.1% (13-54) vs. Phoenix on 7/27/01.
  • Lauren Jackson (eight points) had her streak of scoring double-figures in 84 consecutive games coming into today snapped. She last failed to score double-figures June 23, 2002 vs. Sacramento.
  • Jackson set a career high with 13 3-point attempts. She previously had never attempted more than nine in a game.
  • Jackson went scoreless in the second half.
  • Betty Lennox (14) was the only Storm player in double-figures.
  • Janell Burse (11) grabbed double-figures rebounds for the first time with the Storm.
  • Lisa Leslie led the Sparks with 23 points.
  • Chamique Holdsclaw had a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds in her first L.A. game. Both Holdsclaw and Nikki Teasley played 40 minutes, while Leslie played 39.
  • Iziane Castro Marques (3-6) was the only Storm player to shoot 50% from the field.
  • The Storm led 19-6 early in the game. Los Angeles finished the first half on a 19-5 run.
  • The first Sparks player besides Leslie to score was Holdsclaw 12:30 into the game.
  • May 21, 2005

    STORM COACH ANNE DONOVAN:
    On the game:
    Bottom line is that you have to put the ball in the hole, and we sure didnít do enough of that tonight. It was just a 2-3 zone. We practice against a 2-3 zone every day. The frustration for me was coming out in the second half and making the same mistakes we made in the first half, which was settling for the 3. 32 3. 13 of Lauren (Jackson)ís shots were from the 3-point line. 10 of Betty (Lennox)ís were from the 3-point line. We wanted to attack the seams and get into the zone and make the next pass. We were frustrated when the 3-point shots didnít go and we were almost stubborn to keep taking the shots. That played right into LAís hands.

    On the positives from this game:
    Our WNBA inexperienced players like Iziane (Castro Marques) and (Francesca) Zara had some good minutes on the floor. I think this was a great learning lesson. We are good 3-point shooters but thatís not our M.O. Fifty points. Weíre not going to live and die at the 3-point line. 32 3s is not our reputation. Weíre going to see a lot more zone this season after this fiasco.

    On the Storm's defense:
    We were taking long shots and they were taking the ball off the glass and going transition. There were any number of things that hurt us tonight. Defensively, Iím OK with where we are. If you take away those transition points, itís a different game.

    On Jackson's game:
    Lauren is our strength. Sheís been shooting really well from the outside and obviously today struggled. It changed the flow. Our inside players couldnít get anything. We just couldnít get inside scores at all. Even with Lauren was in there she struggled to convert as well.

    On what the Storm needs now:
    Leadership. Itís another test for Lauren and Sue (Bird) to step up. I wasnít pleased. Near the end of the game, I didnít see near the fight that Iím used to seeing. And that canít happen.

    GUARD SUE BIRD:
    On the game:
    That was a learning experience. You have to take what you can from it and then try to move on. Youíve got to be mentally tough. Of course they were going to make a run, thatís what basketball is, a game of runs. We made ours early, they came back and we never responded. We kind of laid down and died. Weíre not going to be able to win games this year if we continue to play like that. Hopefully weíll learn from it and I hope it never happens again.

    On the start of the game:
    I really took a lot of energy into this game, because of the rings and the banner and things like that. We did start off hot. I donít what happened; we just couldnít keep it going.

    Youíve got to play better than that if you want to compete in this league.

    FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:
    On moving ahead:
    Weíve just to get out there this week and work hard and not complain. The coaches are really disappointed in us right now. A lot has changed. Weíve had three weeks to work on it, but now we have one more week to get back on track and improve some things that we need to work on. For me thatís shooting 3-pointers. Hopefully it will come back.

    LOS ANGELES HEAD COACH HENRY BIBBY:


    On trailing early:
    I told them the adrenaline would be flowing and told them not to get caught up in the emotions of the game. Itís always a game of runs and we had to be patient and not let it get too far away from us. We were hoping it would come back to us like it did.

    On his team's defense:
    We played zone so we could rest people a bit and keep Lisa (Leslie) in the game with her foul trouble. Some people may think thatís something you shouldnít do, but thatís what a zone does - it protects those in foul trouble. We canít afford to have her out of the game. We just kept with it and itís not something we wanted to do for that length of time, but I had to protect my people.

    On getting his first WNBA win:
    A win is a win and wherever you go itís nice to get a win. It gives us a little more trust in what weíre trying to do with the system - I think that helps more than anything. The team has responded, listened, bought in and they played like they bought in. Theyíve done a nice job for us.

    CENTER LISA LESLIE:
    On making a statement:
    You know, itís not just about the Storm. Obviously they are the defending champions and we know what itís like to be the defending champion with a target on you. Thereís no pressure on us anymore - the pressure is on them. They have to defend their title and weíre hungry again. But itís not just about Seattle. We have so many rivals in this league - Houston, Phoenix, New York Ö so itís just another game. It does feel good to start off with a win.

    On Jackson:
    Lauren is strong. When people compare us, sheís more from the outside and Iím more of an inside player so thatís the way we always play against each other. She did her normal thing and shot 13 threes - thatís Lauren. But sheís not usually going to miss that many Ö maybe she was a little nervous, I donít know, youíll have to ask her. When she does get inside, sheís strong and bigger than me so I still feel her strength. I try to use my quickness and get inside and go right at her and she goes right at me.

    On Chamique Holdsclaw's first game with the Sparks:
    I thought Meek did a great job. She really crashed the boards. Every time we needed another rebound, she was right there. Overall, the two of us got better as we built up our confidence offensively. In the beginning we struggled to find each other, then we got the jitters out and were able get open. Itís effective because itís hard for the defense to decide where to concentrate. Itís a great tandem with the two of us out there.

    On the Sparks defense:
    Iíd like to think we forced them to miss some of those shots. Our defense did bother them. We did a really good job on defense and holding them when they were ahead of us by 13. Even though we werenít scoring, they werenít scoring either. Thatís a tribute to our defense and a great sign for us.

    FORWARD CHAMIQUE HOLDSCLAW:
    On her Sparks debut:
    It feels great to be playing with so many great players. We showed tonight that we can handle a little bit of adversity and not just lose it in the beginning. They were playing with a lot of adrenaline and we were down early. Itís easy for everyone to go their own way, but we rallied behind our defense and gave each other a lot of energy. We were able to get the win and it feels good.

    On her comfort level with her teammates:
    Iím definitely getting comfortable with them. When we step over those lines, we all love the game and want to win. You have to look out for the next person and be strong for the team. I thought we did a decent job tonight. Of course, itís early on and I think we can do better. We didnít shoot the ball particularly well. Hopefully, weíre just going to get better and better - thatís the key.