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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 64, Los Angeles 50

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TONIGHT'S NOTES
  • The 50 Sparks points are fewer than they scored in any regular-season game. Their 2008 low had been 53 points at Seattle on July 12.
  • The 15 first-half points scored by Los Angeles ties the fewest allowed by the Storm in any half, regular season or playoffs (July 3, 2001 vs. Washington). It's also the fewest the Sparks have ever scored in a half (previously 16 2x).
  • The Storm snapped a five-game postseason losing streak.
  • Sue Bird (20) reached the 20-point mark for the second straight game.
  • Sheryl Swoopes scored 16 points, one shy of her 2008 regular-season high. Swoopes added four steals, tying her 2008 high.
  • Camille Little's 13 points were a playoffs career high.
  • Lisa Leslie and DeLisha Milton-Jones led Los Angeles with 11 points apiece. No Sparks player has scored more than 11 in this series.
  • Leslie added 11 for her second straight double-double.
  • Los Angeles outscored the Storm 19-5 to get within seven points in the fourth. The Storm answered with five straight points.
  • The Storm will play the fifth deciding Game 3 in franchise history, having gone 2-2 previously and 2-0 at KeyArena.
  • Los Angeles is 4-3 all-time in Game 3s, including 0-2 on the road.
  • After shooting 18.5 percent in the first half, the Sparks rallied to shoot 44.0 percent after halftime and 50.0 percent in the fourth quarter.
  • All four first-round series will go to Game 3, the first time in WNBA history that has happened.
  • September 21, 2008

    STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
    On the game:
    I was proud of our team tonight. We've been hampered with some injuries to some of our key people, but we really responded well defensively. I'm extremely excited but that excitement ends when you leave the locker room and get ready for Tuesday.

    On Sheryl Swoopes' performance:
    She's responded from the concussion she had a couple of weeks ago. I think that getting a game under her belt in L.A. helped her tonight. Obviously she's been here a few times, and I think that showed. She's a competitor, and obviously she can shoot the ball, but she was just as effective defensively and obviously obtained some good rebounds for us.

    On the Storm's defense:
    I was really proud of how we responded. They're not an easy team to defend. They missed some shots, I liked our positioning, and we tried to eliminate their second shots and transition baskets. They're great at that. It was just a situation that went our way and we just have to make it go our way Tuesday.

    On Game 3:
    I'm concerned with how we'll deal with the physical play, the constant physical play against Sue Bird. That's what concerns me going into Tuesday. If we're able to deal with that, we may have an opportunity.

    GUARD SUE BIRD:
    On the game:
    Tonight's game was great. We came out with the focus that we needed. We knew that this was a team that likes to get out in transition, and immediately we tried to take that out of the game for them. We spent at times three back, instead of just two. We wanted to have to go them in the half court. We wanted to make it a half-court game. I know it wasn't as high scoring as ESPN would have liked, but for us that means we're going to win so that's a good thing.

    On physical play:
    It was a very physical game, but that's the playoffs. That's always how it is and that's what you can expect, and you can definitely expect that from L.A. I'm sure Game 3 will be worse.

    On L.A.'s poor shooting being attributable to the defense:
    Who knows? We did do some different things on defense. They have some great players and you can go on about their talent. Last game we doubled a lot, which gave their perimeter players a lot of open looks. Tonight we kind of kept them guessing. We didn't double all that much and played them straight up. And hopefully we didn't give them as many good looks.

    CENTER YOLANDA GRIFFITH:
    On defending the Sparks:
    We know Lisa (Leslie) is their go-to player. I've been playing against Lisa for 10 years since I've been in this league. She's a hard challenge, so I just try and outwork her. I just have to make her think more. We have many great scorers on this team; you need someone who is going to sacrifice something and not think about the points, just think about the team. Our defense tonight was solid. We let up a little bit, but we went to the boards like we needed to, hit our free throws and were able to win the game.

    LOS ANGELES HEAD COACH MICHAEL COOPER:
    On the game:
    That was a very well played game by Seattle. They did everything they wanted to do and made it very difficult for us to get anything on the inside and we definitely have to have that. Our solution last game was to hit shots and we didn't hit shots tonight.

    On the Storm's defense:
    I wasn't surprised. They're the best defensive team in the league. That's not surprising at all. As I said, last game we were able to hit shots from the perimeter and our backcourt was 4-for-20 and you're not going to win any games like that or loosen up any defenses like that.

    LOS ANGELES CENTER LISA LESLIE:
    On the game:
    We did not play well and the Storm played great. I thought they did a great job of executing their offense. We did a pretty good job defensively, but our offense was pretty much out of sync the whole game so we definitely have to do a much better job of executing our offense in order to win Game 3.

    On the first half:
    They had great defense, so you have to give them a lot of credit. They came out really aggressive and it was a very physical game. I'm not sure what we expected, but it was a super physical game. I think it took us a while to adjust to that, but with that said we have to do a much better job of moving the ball around. We know they want to stop myself, they want to stop Candace (Parker) they're going to come with double-teams and triple-teams, but we have to do a better job of moving the ball around and finding the open player.

    On playing ugly in Game 3:
    Yes, we have to continue to match their intensity on both ends of the floor. And like I said, they played a lot more physical and we've got to step up our game and get a lot more physical. I was just telling Candace that when you get to the playoffs, the rules kind of change and it is what it is and calls that you usually get you don't so you just have to make that adjustment, keep fighting through and playing hard.

    On whether frustration set in:
    It's not so much frustration. It's just a different game and you don't really know until you get involved in it. For whatever reason, the rules of how we play in the regular season just kind of go out the door and you just have to play through whatever it is. We've got to make that adjustment, especially being on the road.

    On whether the late-game run could carry over:
    Yes and that's exactly what I told my teammates - we've got to pick up where we left off. Now that our backs are against the wall it's going to be a bigger fight for us to come out and play strong like that for the whole game. We can do it and we feel confident about ending the game the way we did. We feel like that's exactly where we've got to pick up and stay aggressive.

    On the KeyArena atmosphere:
    I don't mind playing here. I think the crowd is great. Whether they're chanting 'Beat L.A.' or just chanting at all, in some moments we zone out so you don't hear much of it and the other times when you hear 'Beat L.A.' we're so used to that chant that we feel like that's for us anyway. In some ways right there in the fourth quarter they kind of helped us a little bit. The crowd here is great, so you can't complain about that. We appreciate the support.

    2008 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive