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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 87, Phoenix 83

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TONIGHT'S NOTES
  • The Storm started 3-0 for the first time in franchise history.
  • For the third straight game, the Storm won despite trailing at halftime. The 21-point deficit overcome is the second-largest comeback in franchise history (19 vs. Houston on May 19, 2007) and the second-largest lead given up in Mercury history (22 vs. Utah Aug. 20, 1999).
  • The Storm took the lead for good with a 10-2 fourth-quarter run capped by Sue Bird's score. Earlier, the Storm had a 13-2 run in the third quarter. Phoenix had a 22-0 run over the first and second quarters, holding the Storm scoreless for 6:47.
  • The Mercury lost its third straight game to start the season. It is the first time Phoenix has lost three consecutive contests since June 2-5, 2007, which marked the team's longest losing streak of the season. Phoenix's 0-3 start to the season marks the second-longest winless stretch to start a season in franchise history behind only 2006's 0-4 start.
  • The Storm outscored the Mercury 50-31 in the second half. The Storm has outscored the opposition 138-85 after halftime this season.
  • Lauren Jackson scored 21 of her game-high 30 points in the second half. Jackson hit the 30-point mark for the first time this season and became just the third WNBA player this season to score 30 in a game (Candace Parker and Cappie Pondexter).
  • Pondexter scored 23 points while adding four assists tonight. Through three games this season, Pondexter is averaging 26.0 points per game (second in WNBA).
  • The Mercury outrebounded an opponent for the first time this season. Phoenix was 3-2 last season when outrebounding an opponent.
  • After scoring 52 first-half points on 21-of-37 (56.8%) shooting in the first half, the Mercury shot just 34.4% from the field, scoring 31 points the rest of the way. Phoenix was 8-of-12 (66.7%) from three-point range before halftime, 1-of-11 (9.1%) thereafter.
  • The Storm did not commit a turnover in the second half.
  • May 22, 2008

    STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
    On the game:
    We wanted to be able to play at two speeds. We wanted to be able to attack them if we had our opportunities, and if we didn't, we just didn't want to come in and take a quick shot and let them go down. We wanted to make them play defense for a while. I thought we did a little bit of both of that in the second half. They just want to run and run and run and get quick shots and they did and they started missing some shots too. That gave us some opportunities.

    On the keys to the comeback:
    Lauren (Jackson) is stepping up and, you know, it's just a team of some serious competitors. A couple people might not have been on top of their game, like Sheryl (Swoopes) tonight, but even Yo (Griffith), take away those free throws at the end, she competed like crazy tonight, especially early in the game. Of course Sue (Bird) and Lauren and Swin (Cash) did a great job. Our defense stepped back up in the second half and it wasn't quite as easy for them to score in the second half.

    FORWARD LAUREN JACKSON:
    On the comeback:
    That's pretty much how we've played all season. The first three games, we have been down quite a lot of points at halftime and we come back in the second half. For us it's just a matter of playing four quarters.

    Phoenix is so tough. Cappie (Pondexter) and Diana (Taurasi) are without a doubt two of the best players in the league and to guard them is just a task on its own. In the second half, nobody else really stepped up for them. Those two were great, but for us it was about playing defense and trying to get back into the game

    GUARD SUE BIRD:
    On the Mercury:
    They played very well in the first half. I think they shot 70% from three; they seem to be everywhere on the court, forcing us to turn the ball over and getting their offense through that. You name it, they were quicker offensively. For us, you hope that a team can't keep that up for 40 minutes. Now with a team like theirs, you never know.

    On the comeback:
    The first thing Brian said coming into the locker room in the second half was by the fourth quarter we want to cut it to eight and I think we had it at six. That's when we were like, 'OK, it's a six-point game, let's see what can happen in the next 10 minutes,' and we battled. It was a very tough game to come back like that, but it shows the poise we have on this team.

    PHOENIX HEAD COACH COREY GAINES:
    On the difference between the halves:
    We ran out of juice. We got tired and couldn't run anymore. They got tired - the first half was a good pace and the second half was no pace. Shots don't fall when you get tired and we just couldn't push it. It became a halfcourt game and they're better in a halfcourt game than we are.

    On whether he's disappointed in the team's effort:
    No - the first half was nice. But we're not in shape. We're not in shape to do what we do, which is run. If you're not in shape to run, it turns into calling out plays and running down and trying to set stuff up - it doesn't run.

    On three close losses to start the season:
    It's getting later and later each game. At first, it was the second quarter that hurt us. This time the second quarter was still good and the third quarter you get a rest and you come out and you come out hard - but you still have to push. The push is what we do.

    FORWARD DIANA TAURASI:
    On whether fatigue was a factor:
    We lost. I don't think it was because of fatigue, it was because we were not focused on one end of the court which led to more mistakes on the other end.

    On whether the Storm made adjustments:
    No. We just didn't execute the way we did in the first half. It was the same team out there. This loss is solely on us.

    On the team's upcoming break:
    If a team can use eight days, it's probably us to get our stuff together. These three games have gone pretty quick and we haven't had that much time to get back to what we were doing last year. So these eight days might be the best thing for us right now.

    GUARD KELLY MILLER:
    On the difference in the halves:
    In the first half we did a good job of pushing the ball and getting stops on defense. In the second have we just didn't get any stops on the defensive side. We let them get too many easy shots on defense and we didn't rebound. On offense, we stopped pushing the ball a little bit and stopped playing our game.

    On starting the season 0-3:
    We have played some really good teams and are right there in all of them. We just need to finish games and close out games; once we learn that we'll be fine. We'll continue to get better. Some of these players, it's their first time playing with everyone. We'll get to know each other better and things will turn around.

    2008 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive