Postgame Quotes/Notes - Minnesota 81, Storm 74
STORM HEAD COACH BRIAN AGLER:
On the start of the game:
It was a combination of things. Iíll probably be able to answer that better after seeing the film, but from my vantage point we had a hard time scoring. The initial jumpball kind of set the tone for the game - we got outhustled there. Then we missed shots and didnít get back in transition. They separated themselves.
I tried to get their attention and called two timeouts. I think we might have been down 18-0, I donít remember exactly. It was just one of the situations and we could never get control of it until the second half and then we finally found our footing a little bit. But by then it was too late. We had dug ourselves too deep of a hole. At some point there is going to have to be a sense of urgency set in. It eventually did in the fourth quarter and we started making plays defensively.
On Lauren Jackson's health:
I think we all have our own aches and pains. I have a lot of trust in Lauren. Why she had the game that she did, I think is just one of those situations that you never quite know. Sheíll get back on track.
On the team's response to the loss:
I think it will be real interesting how we respond. Weíve got good character in that locker room, so this isnít the end of the world.
STORM GUARD SUE BIRD:
On trying to come back:
I knew that we were going to be able to cut the lead down and my hope was at the beginning of the fourth quarter we could get it to eight or nine with five minutes. For a while, we just couldnít break that 12 area. We finally did, but time just ran out. Obviously, it wasnít about what happened in the fourth quarter. You canít spot a team 20 points, or even more at one point, and expect to win.
On what happened in the first quarter:
It just felt like they came out ready. You have to give them a ton of credit. They had a good game plan and did exactly what they wanted to do. It felt like with every passing possession that they scored I think our morale got low and they were able to capitalize on that. A lot of what happened was us missing shots and not getting back on defense and them getting easy points. Every team in this league can make layups and we were giving them a ton. We werenít challenging them and I think we kind of got away from what makes us a good team in that first quarter. I donít what to say. It was embarrassing.
Our fans came out to support us and in some ways weíre kind of disappointed to kind of let them down. That was just a poor performance. We came back, but that doesnít mean much. But the world didnít end. I will get up tomorrow. We all will. Thatís the beauty of the season.
STORM FORWARD SWIN CASH:
On the game:
When you spot someone 22 points itís always hard to come back. I will tell you that the message was sent and delivered. Now we go back to the drawing board, watch our breakdowns and just get better. On the Lynx:
Minnesota is a really good team. I wouldnít be surprised if we saw them in the postseason. Like we said this whole year, everyone is going to give us their A game. We got Minnesotaís A game today and we just didnít step up to the challenge. I like the resilience that we showed down the stretch, but we have to play that way for 40 minutes. We understand that. This is a veteran team. Weíll get better.
On the start of the game:
We didnít see that coming, but our defense was pretty good. They missed a lot of shots and we got on a roll.
On the key to the early run:
No question, it was our defense. Our defense and our rebounding. Weíre awfully good when we get out in transition Ė we just love that part of the game and when we can do that, weíre hitting on all cylinders and things come easy for us. We had them pretty twisted in the first half and just got easy stuff on them. Obviously they turned the tables on us and had a great fourth quarter. The crowd got into it, which is what we were hoping to avoid, but a win is a win.
On Rebekkah Brunson's game:
Sheís playing so well. Weíve had four games and four times the game ball goes to Brunson. Sheís relentless and the energy she plays with is so contagious for the rest of us. The rebounds she gets are so important.
On winning in KeyArena:
They had a 22-game home win streak going. We didnít talk about it, but in the back of my mind I knew it. Weíre pretty comfortable here, for whatever reason. We match up well with Seattle and we like playing in KeyArena. We love all the fans and think thatís great. Itís a good spot for us.
On containing Jackson:
Taj McWilliams-Franklin is 40 years old, but sheís a freak of nature. Her defense of Lauren Jackson kept her from getting her wheels rolling and that was big for them. Then it had to be Sue Bird trying to take over so Iím happy with our defense. Fourth quarter is not what we wanted, but Iíve seen teams come here and have 24 or 25-point leads and lose so we were happy to have a big lead and hang on. Win by one or by 21, itís still a win.
On the game:
That felt good. We knew that our defense was going to be key, so we tried to defend early on and get some fast-break points and try to stop their runs. We know theyíre fully capable no matter what the lead was, as you can see, theyíre going to keep coming at you. We had to keep our focus and keep defending.
On whether a 30-point lead was enough:
Itís never enough. You have to keep your focus. You canít look up at the scoreboard no matter what kind of lead you have, you just have to keep playing. Theyíre a team that can score in bunches so you canít focus on any type of lead that you have, you just have to continue to play until itís over.
On whether she can continue her double-double streak:
I hope so, but Iím just going to keep playing. Iím not really a stat person and Iím not really focused on that. I think everybody else is a little more focused on that than I am, but I just want to do what I can to contribute and to help. If that means being intense and being aggressive to the rebounds, then thatís what Iím going to do.
On what this win does for the team's confidence:
This is one of the toughest places to play so it definitely lets us know that weíre in a good place. We still have a lot of room to grow. Weíre a young team, we still have a lot of things to learn and itís still a long season. We canít get too excited, but weíre going to enjoy it right now and then weíll go back to work.
On the game:
Iím really proud of my team. Sometimes the ball just goes in, but I thought we came in with the right mindset and we were ready. We knew we had to come in with a really tough mindset because itís hard to get wins in this place so Iím really proud of the way we came out. We were able to hold on toward the end there. We knew Seattle wasnít going to just lay down and die Ė they were going to fight their way back.
On feeling nervous with a big lead:
I wasnít worried. I wanted to stay focused and make sure that we didnít give up threes. We gave up too many threes in the second half, but itís a good learning experience. We take the victory and we take the momentum from it, but weíre still humbled in that we need to be better defensively.