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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Phoenix 92, Storm 84 (OT)

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TONIGHT'S NOTES
  • With the win, Phoenix secured home-court advantage throughout the WNBA postseason. The Mercury would win the tiebreaker should Indiana (22-11) finish with an identical record.
  • The Mercury won the season series 3-1, sweeping both games at KeyArena. It's the first time Phoenix has won the series since 2000 and second ever.
  • The Mercury tied the franchise record of 23 wins, previously done in 2007.
  • For the first time all season, the Storm has lost three straight games.
  • The Storm became the third team in WNBA history to play at least six overtime games, joining the 2001 Sol and 2008 Sparks, both of whom played seven. Seattle dropped to 3-3 in overtime.
  • Five of the Storm's six OT games have been played at KeyArena.
  • Tanisha Wright led the Storm with 24 points, her fifth time this season with 20-plus. Wright averaged 17.8 ppg in four games against Phoenix. Wright's 10 free throw attempts tied a career high previously set on 8/4 against the Mercury at KeyArena.
  • La'Tangela Atkinson grabbed a career-high eight rebounds.
  • Janell Burse grabbed a season-high nine rebounds.
  • Shannon Johnson scored a season-high 15 points (previously 10 3x).
  • Rookie Ashley Walker notched career highs of six points and six boards.
  • Diana Taurasi scored 18 of her team-high 22 points after halftime.
  • The Storm's 45 rebounds tied and 32 defensive boards were a season high.
  • Phoenix had 16 steals, crushing the Mercury's previous season high of 11.
  • September 10, 2009

    STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
    On the Storm's effort:
    We had great effort. Great focus, great effort. They applied the scout, controlled the game, did what we had to do to put ourselves in position to win ... did what we had to do.

    On the team's motivation:
    I think that's something we're trying to instill here - we're going to compete. We had absolutely nothing to play for other than pride. We had all sorts of reasons why we shouldn't do this or shouldn't do that. We were a team tonight that instead of looking for reasons not to do things we were looking for reasons to do things. For me, it's fun to be a part of that.

    On players stepping up:
    I've always told people - just about every season everybody gets their opportunity at some point. It's just a matter of do you have the ability to be disciplined enough to wait on it and stay focused enough to take advantage when you get it? Some people do and some people don't. Tonight, I would say across the board everybody took advantage of their opportunity.

    GUARD TANISHA WRIGHT:
    On losing steam in overtime:
    Maybe. I think they may have come out with a little bit more energy in the first minute or two and jumped on us and it went down from there. But we still fought - we took what we had and we still fought.

    On what playing well does for the Storm's bench:
    I think it's a great opportunity to get in, to play, to get some confidence, to know that they're reliable.

    On whether she feels more responsibility with other starters sidelined:
    Maybe. Everybody stepped up. We had four people in double-figures? So I think everybody takes a little bit of responsibility on their own shoulders.

    On her tying shot late in overtime:
    It was a play just to attack. We wanted to get to the basket, maybe draw a foul.

    GUARD SHANNON JOHNSON:
    On stepping up:
    A lot of us just tried to step up and do what we can. Only having 11 players, you know you have to go out there and play. Once our key players get injured and things happen where they're unable to play, it's important for us to step up. I think Ashley (Robinson) and I tried to do what we can. Bringing new people in, you saw tonight - those players came out and just played. They've been off for the last couple of months and came out and gave us good minutes.

    On playing heavy minutes:
    Of course it's fun. It's a lot of fun to play, but the most important thing is being productive. That's what I'm trying to do - be productive no matter how many minutes I get. That's what Brian brought me in for. We didn't know that this could happen, where I would start and play more minutes, but with the opportunity I'm going to go out and play as well as I can.

    PHOENIX HEAD COACH COREY GAINES:
    On the Mercury's execution:
    So-so. It was a tough game to play. We grinded it out.

    On playing the Storm short-handed:
    Tough. They shot great. They rebounded great. Great team. They all played great.

    PHOENIX FORWARD DIANA TAURASI:
    On the game:
    This is probably the toughest place to play at, probably in the league. Obviously they were without their core, but they came out and played hard. They did a lot of good things. We struggled in some aspects, but a win is a win at this point in the season. That’s all you want. You can take care of the details tomorrow in practice or the next day.

    On the key in overtime:
    We just kind of stick to what we do, and hopefully try to outlast people. Sometimes it happens early, sometimes it doesn’t happen at all and sometimes it happens with two minutes left in overtime. I thought as a group we did a good job of staying together. We were getting a lot of good shots that weren’t going in. But that’s what we have to do. We have to find a way to win.

    On having home-court advantage throughout the playoffs:
    It’s as big of a deal as you make it. We’re not worried about who we’re playing, where we’re playing, what time we’re playing, what planet we’re playing on. We’re just concentrating on the people with our jerseys in this locker room.

    On whether the Mercury is ready for the playoffs:
    We’ll see. I think we’re getting close. It’s like any team. Sometimes you take a couple steps forward and sometimes you take a step back. As long as throughout the process you’re trying to get better. There’s always time to get better. That’s what we’re going to try to do.

    On whether she was surprised by the Storm's effort:
    You’re talking about a team coached by one of the best coaches in the world. You could have put in five Seattle Storm fans and they probably would have given us a game today.

    2009 Postgame Quotes/Notes Archive