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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 80, Sacramento 70

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TONIGHT'S NOTES
  • The Storm won on Opening Night for the fourth straight season and improved to 5-4 in home openers.
  • For the third consecutive season and fourth time in franchise history, the Storm has started 2-0. Minnesota and Washington are the only other 2-0 WNBA teams.
  • The Monarchs started 0-2 for the second time in franchise history (previously done in 2002).
  • The win was the Storm's 11th consecutive in a regular-season game at KeyArena, a new franchise record dating back to June 16, 2008.
  • The Storm opened the game with a 15-2 run.
  • Lauren Jackson scored a game-high 25 points, her second straight 20-plus effort. Jackson scored the Storm's first eight points.
  • Sue Bird added 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting. She handed out eight assists for the second straight game, which is tied for the most by a WNBA player in a game this season.
  • Camille Little recorded a career-high four steals.
  • Kara Lawson came off the bench to lead Sacramento with 17 points. Lawson and Nicole Powell (14) were the two Monarchs players in double-figures.
  • Sacramento rookie Courtney Paris scored her first career bucket at the 1:13 mark of the first quarter on a layup.
  • The Monarchs reserves outscored the team's starters 40-30.
  • Sacramento's only lead came at 2-1. The Storm led by as many as 16 points.
  • The Storm recorded its fifth straight Opening Night sellout (9,686).
  • June 7, 2009

    STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
    On the game:
    I thought both teams looked a little tired, mentally really. We lost focus defensively. We got a lot of easy looks at the basket. We did some bad things defensively and left people wide open. To me that was just two tired teams playing. Sometimes the first thing to go when you’re a conditioned athlete is your mind. That caused us to get some layups.

    On Lauren Jackson's play:
    She looked rested today. She looked good. She looked a little fatigued as the game went on. She’s one of the best, if not the best. She can really get it going. Early on she got us off to a great start.

    On Shannon Johnson playing:
    She really sucked it up today. She was hurt, and she played through it and really helped played some quality minutes. It helps Sue (Bird) a lot having her here. The pressure is not on Sue to always bring the ball up and deal with the pressure that they’re applying. What happens is Sue is a little more fresh down the stretch.

    On Bird:
    She looked really energetic today. She wore down a little bit, but she’s in great condition, so quick and fast up and down the floor. She made some tremendous plays both shooting the ball and distributing the ball. My thoughts are she’s the best point guard there is, and I’m glad she’s on our team.

    GUARD SUE BIRD:
    On fatigue:
    There were definitely times when that second wind wasn’t coming quick enough. I feel good, especially after a back-to-back. That’s the only one of the season, so I’m glad that’s over. And we won both, so that’s always a good thing.

    On starting the season with a back-to-back set:
    It’s tough schedule, but this is a good start. It was mentally challenging more than anything else. Hopefully that will help us going into the next three games.

    On Jackson:
    She still wows me now and then. Her consistency is truly amazing. She was dropping some dimes tonight, so I have to give her kudos for that with some great passes. That’s new.

    SACRAMENTO HEAD COACH JENNY BOUCEK:
    On the game:
    We’re trying to stay focused on us. We started before we were really ready, but I know a lot of teams would say that. Right now, they might be better, but if we didn’t turn the ball over, it’s a different game. If we have a different start, it’s a different game. There are a lot of what ifs, but they played very well. They have some very good players and they make you pay for any mistakes. We’re making a lot of mistakes right now as we’re trying to learn everything and get people back in the flow. They absolutely just make you pay.

    On the difference between the two games against the Storm:
    Despite what the scoreboard might say, we were better today than we were yesterday in our schemes. Unfortunately we threw it away for 28 points, which we didn’t do as bad last night. I felt like we had some individuals make progress and we made some progress as a team, but they were still better today.

    On Ticha Penicheiro's status after injuring her thumb:
    We don’t know yet. It’s been piecemeal this year. Every time I get one back, I lose another. Even during the game, they’re telling me the status of different players and how many minutes they can play, so we just have to plug our way through this until we can get some continuity.

    On the upcoming back-to-back against Phoenix:
    There’s no rest for the weary in the league this year. There’s absolutely no margin for error. If you don’t show up playing your A game, you’re going to get beat. And that’s exciting for the fans, I think, but frustrating when you’re in the learning process because we all want to win. (Phoenix) is a good team and we’ll try to get better every day this week and we’ll go out there and see what we can do next weekend. They have two of the top scorers in the league from last year. They won a championship two years ago with basically the same players.

    On her emphasis for practice :
    Without watching the film, it’s hard to talk specifics right after the game. It’ll just be getting more comfortable in our stuff because we have a lot of tentativeness still. Trying to get used to one another and used to our systems. We’re making too many mistakes out of hesitation. It’s paralysis by analysis. We’ll see if we can continue to dig in and get more instinctual in what we do and then get more comfortable playing together.

    SACRAMENTO FORWARD NICOLE POWELL:
    On the game:
    Obviously it didn’t go as well as we’d planned. We would’ve liked to have gone 50-50 here. But they’re a very good team and have a lot of talent and playing here is very tough. It’s a back-to-back, both teams are in the same boat, so that’s kind of a wash. But we feel like we got better from yesterday and that’s all we can do.

    On a focus for improvement:
    If basketball were only about one thing then that’d be easy to answer. There are multiple things and coach would know best. Each player has to get better. We all have different things to work on and that’s the most important. As we grit our teeth and watch the film and just be honest with ourselves individually about how we can improve. As a group, we’ll improve on Xs and Os, just getting tougher out there.

    On the team's injuries:
    It’s just the way it is. Each person is just worried about doing what they can. We’re not worried about who’s coming out there. That’s the coaches’ and all of the staff’s responsibility. It’s a big team effort trying to get everybody healthy and we just go out there and do the best we can.

    SACRAMENTO GUARD KARA LAWSON:
    On the game:
    It’s not the way you’d want to start off the season. They’re a little further along than we are. They have two of the best players in the world at their respective positions and they work really well together. They’ve got great chemistry and it presents a lot of problems for us when we have breakdowns. They have a great ability to make you pay when you break down. There are some areas for growth. The biggest thing we’re focused on is trying to get better, stay positive and know that is just two games and we’ve got some practice time to prepare.

    On the team's mindset:
    We compete and we’re going to give very good effort every night. You can expect that from us. We have a lot of pride in how we play and how we need to play. For us tonight, the turnovers were a frustrating part of the game because some of those are because of what they’re doing and some of them are because we’re trying to play too fast and be really aggressive and try and push the tempo. All of the things that we’re doing wrong are things that indicative to the start of the season. Getting back, playing with one another, turning it over, our rotations may be a bit too slow … all things that we feel confident we can get ironed out.

    2009 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive