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Postgame Quotes/Notes - Storm 81, Los Angeles 67

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TONIGHT'S NOTES
  • The Storm won on Opening Night for the fifth consecutive season and improved to 7-4 all-time in both home openers and season openers.
  • Trailing 62-59 with 8:05 to play, the Storm finished the game with a 22-5 run and outscored Los Angeles 24-9 in the fourth quarter.
  • The Storm has won six straight regular-season home games against the Sparks.
  • Los Angeles started the season 0-2 for the first time since 1997, the inaugural year of the WNBA.
  • Lauren Jackson led the Storm with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson had four double-doubles during the 2009 season.
  • Candace Parker (10 points, 11 rebounds) recorded her second double-double in as many games but was held to 4-of-11 shooting.
  • Tina Thompson led Los Angeles with 19 points, making all 10 free throw attempts.
  • The Storm attempted 37 free throws. The team's 2009 season high for free throw attempts was 38.
  • Seattle handed out just nine assists. The Storm was 2-1 in 2009 when failing to reach double figures in assists.
  • The Sparks had just five offensive rebounds, grabbing 18.5 percent of available misses on the offensive end.
  • The Storm's starting lineup combined to score 77 of the team's 81 points (95.1%).
  • During reserve Ashley Robinson's 10 minutes of play, the Storm outscored Los Angeles by 10 points.
  • The Storm played in front of a sellout crowd of 9,686.
  • Seattle is now 2-2 in home openers against the Sparks, winning in 2006 but losing in 2005 and 2003.
  • Two days into the season, the Storm and Phoenix are the lone remaining unbeaten teams in the Western Conference.
  • May 16, 2010

    STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:


    On the game:
    It was just a good win. L.A. is a good team. They came in here really wanting to win; both teams did. If you look at the minutes played, both teams kept their players on the floor. Thatís not our big-picture plan by any means and thatís what I told our team after the game.

    On Lauren Jackson's defense:
    Candace Parker is a great player. Thereís no question about it. But Lauren Jacksonís defense tonight was unbelievable. We were just talking about we have some people who can stay in plays with Candace, and a lot of teams donít have that. They have to gimmick and do different things with zones and things like that. Iím sure Candace will have big games against us. She played well tonight. She played 39 and a half minutes and had her opportunities, but Lauren really did a great job and I told her that afterward.

    On pulling away in the fourth quarter:
    We just sort of hung in there and played with some persistence. They were on a back-to-back and Iím sure that factored into it late. They looked a little tired and that was an advantage for us. Theyíre a great team and theyíre going to win a ton of games.

    STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:


    On the game:
    Tonight, defense is what kept us in the game for four quarters. We changed some things offensively to give them a different look, but otherwise we relied on our defense and let the rest play out.

    On defending Parker:
    Iíve been able to see Candace play a lot over the last couple of years and she is an extremely difficult person to guard. There is a variety of things she can do and sheís hard to keep off the boards. For a post player she has a pretty good handle and tries to take you off the dribble. A-Rob (Ashley Robinson) and Lauren both did an excellent job.

    STORM FORWARD SWIN CASH:


    On the fourth quarter:
    We felt very confident. Obviously our core group was out there and weíve played together for a few years now. We just made plays.

    On the win:
    It feels really good. Iím just happy and impressed with our team tonight. I think Lauren did an excellent job offensively - she was dominant on the blocks - and defensively she did an excellent job on Candace. The new players are just getting here and acclimated to the system so weíre just scratching the surface right now.

    On the Storm's defense:
    it was a total team effort. We understand how much offense L.A. has and we had to do a lot of adjustments down the stretch. But like I said, we have a core group of veterans and we were able to make plays.

    LOS ANGELES HEAD COACH JENNIFER GILLOM:
    On the game:
    You know, itís hard to win when every game weíve got teams shooting 30 free throws Ö every game. We canít win. Itís just tough. I donít know what the deal is but maybe thereís something that we need to do a better job of. Thatís something thatís been plaguing us for the last two games and we need to correct it somehow, someway. I thought we looked a little lethargic in places, but we looked brilliant in places. I think the extra two or three days is going to help us to evaluate what we need to do. Itís a tough loss because I thought we stayed in the game most of the time until the very end. These are things that can be corrected. My team is giving the effort. Theyíre playing aggressive and theyíre playing their hearts out. But when you put people on the line for 30 free throws itís tough to play defense. Thatís something that needs to be evaluated in the next week.

    On whether fatigue was a factor in the fourth quarter:
    It might have been. But every team is going to play back-to-backs and weíve just got to be able to overcome that mentally and just play hard. Thatís all weíve got to continue to do is play hard and hopefully things will go our way eventually.

    On Jackson's defense:
    I think Lauren has a little bit more experience over Candace and she probably knows how to defend her. With them being the same size it definitely helps her as well. Yeah, I thought she played her pretty tough, but all thatís going to do is get Candace better.

    LOS ANGELES FORWARD CANDACE PARKER:
    On the game:
    It was tough. I think we lost it. We were up and then I think it was tied 62-62 and then we just collapsed Ė mentally, physically, missing box outs, all of that.

    On fatigue:
    No, there was no fatigue. It was all mental. We just didnít execute down the stretch.

    On Jackson's defense:
    I think she did good. Lauren Jackson is a great defensive player, but I think there are other things that we couldíve done. Other players stepped up, so itís not solely a one-on-one matchup.

    LOS ANGELES FORWARD TINA THOMPSON:
    On the opening weekend:
    We had a good game in Phoenix but kind of lost it at the last second. That wasnít a negative. We looked at it as a positive because of the way we played at the end of the game. Here we played strong for the first few quarters, but then we kind of collapsed a little bit. I donít know if it was fatigue or inexperience in the situation. Weíll be okay. Iím not worried.

    On the physical nature of the game:
    Yeah, it was physical. Fouls, Iím not sure about. I know that we shot less free throws so I donít know if you can call that physical entirely. It is what it is. Weíll look at film, see what we did wrong and go back to the drawing board.