Postgame Quotes - Minnesota 76, Storm 68
On the game:
I thought the first quarter we were sort of passive. I thought from the second quarter on, we played really good basketball and I was really proud of our team. They undermanned us a little bit, a loss with a couple of key players out, but we did enough to win that game. We just came up short.
On his message at halftime:
'We're turning the ball over too much.' We had 13 turnovers in the first half, six or seven in the first quarter. In the second quarter we did a little better. In the second half we played with three turnovers and that's important for us.
On the difference down the stretch:
I think they got to the free throw line there late and beat us off the dribble a couple of times. We missed some shots and I think they got a little bit of momentum from that.
On the game:
We felt like we didn't play well in the first quarter, but we felt like we picked it up much better in the second and started putting the ball in the basket. We're not playing with a lot of players, and that's not an excuse, but when you play with eight players you have to be conservative and know what you're out there doing.
On playing short-handed down the stretch:
I thought we already knew what we were up against when we knew that Sue (Bird) wasn't going to play. It wasn't something where we were trying to rest in the last minutes of the game. Some calls didn't go our way, the basket went in for them, and we just weren't able to put the ball in the hole in the end.
On starting slowly:
It took us about a quarter and a half, but then we settled in and started playing decent basketball and the momentum came into the third quarter. We just didn't finish it off. We didn't catch a couple of breaks and we didn't finish the game off.
On clinching home-court advantage:
It makes us feel good. It's nice to know at least we've got second place going right now, but you're never satisfied with a loss. But we're happy knowing we're in a good position going into the playoffs.
On the game:
That was a great game. It was exactly what we needed. To me, it showed a lot of character. I love the way this team handles adversity. They have seen players go down and they know how to step up, and to me that is a great sign of a team that is maturing. I saw some great execution tonight and some good defensive stops tonight that will make a coach happy, especially when you don't have one of your star players in the game. Of course, we still had a little lapse there in the third quarter. We still need to work on that, and usually this team knows how to fight back. I saw some very good things and I am very proud of this team, and they just continue to impress me. This is definitely a team of the future and I see some good things happening here.
On the Storm coming back after halftime:
I think we just have a tendency to lose our focus for just a bit. I don't know if there is anything that they did differently, it's just that we need to come out the way we did in the first quarter. We set a tone and had a comfortable 10-point lead and most teams do that. I am trying to get them away from that. We can't afford to relax. We have to just continue to execute for 40 minutes; that is the bottom line. We cannot take time out in any time of the game.
On the teams playing short-handed:
I thought we were pretty even tonight. They were without their two stars and we were without our two. It was a fair game tonight and I thought that we came out and played hard and really executed and played some great defense. Like I said, I wanted to see that, I wanted to see what type of character we have. Are we going to go at this team and really play hard or just relax since our superstar wasn't there and give in? We didn't give in, not once.
On the short-handed Storm:
They're an excellent team. Shannon Johnson is a great, superb, veteran point guard. Swin Cash is an Olympian. Tanisha Wright was their go-to player. They kept scoring and they weren't going to stop, and they knew that the game wasn't over. I think it was just a lapse on their focus.
On battling San Antonio for a playoff spot:
Not only did they win, but they won by a lot. But hey, we're still in it. We can only control our own destiny now and from now on.
On the game:
My focus was to get it done by any means necessary, just to lay it out on the line. This was our only chance. It's not like in the middle of the season when you can say, 'We'll get it next time.' ... Not only myself, but my teammates as well and everybody else understands this was very, very important - and we played like it.
On her mentality on offense:
I just want to be able to do an array of things. I don't want to be a one-dimensional player. I'm just thankful being smaller than most players but at the same time being blessed with quickness.