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October 11, 2016

Cheryl Reeve

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lynx - 79, Sparks - 60

CHERYL REEVE: First, I want to commend our crowd. I thought from jump, their energy was just simply awesome, so I'm really, really proud of our fans. Gave us the lift that we needed.

I know defensively we were way better today, not just because of the field goal percentage, I just thought our commitment to our concepts were better. Obviously I don't know that we could have been worse than what we did last game as far as the types of easy baskets we gave up, so obviously we cleaned some things up. I was happy about that.

Offensively we were better. Disappointed about a couple stretches, but I guess perfection is hard to achieve.

Q. Particularly the domination on the glass, is that kind of the edge and the hunger you wanted to see coming into Game 2?
CHERYL REEVE: Well, it's what we do, and so, yeah, I want us to play to our identity. It's what we're about in terms of when you have Rebekkah Brunson, whatever team she's ever been on, that's what she gives that team, and obviously she's been doing that for us for a long time.

Yeah, you know, we -- I think there's only one statistic that maybe there's a separator between the two teams, and it's rebounding, so we might as well try to use it to our advantage, and it gives you the extra possessions. We got some good hustle plays. I thought we got burned with our guards trying to get in there and rebound a little bit. That third quarter was simply awful, the types of baskets we gave up because we didn't have floor balance. But typical me; we're beating them up and we won the game, but we've got some things we've got to do.

Q. Cheryl, Maya was able to get going early and then she got some support as the second half wore on. How do you think the flow on offense improved from Game 1 where you got solid efforts from a lot of different sources?
CHERYL REEVE: It improved dramatically. I thought that some of the things that we showed them on video, no question LA's defense and their aggression was a factor in Game 1, but I also thought we contributed to our inability to get some things done as far as ball movement. We showed them that on video. We did some stuff in shoot-around today, a little bit better play calling in terms of moving them. I thought we made what we call the hockey assist. I thought it was more than just the one pass and then try to go score. I thought we moved it side to side a little bit better. We still have some things we've got to recognize that's open. They clogged the paint well. It's obviously a great defensive team. Every time you score, it's one of those things, it's a huge accomplishment for both teams.

I'm proud of Syl. She didn't always keep her cool, but I don't -- I guess maybe now I know how Shaq felt in the NBA because she hung in there through what I thought was a really, really, really physical game for her. But I told her that's what it's about. You can't expect a call. You have to play that you're not going to get a call, so you've got to go get it done anyway. So I thought today was a good game for her in terms of a lesson that you've got to keep your cool and you've got to keep playing.

Q. What did you think of Maya's game tonight?
CHERYL REEVE: Maya was -- Maya responded. Everybody asked me, how do I think Maya is going to respond from Game 1, and I said, if I know Maya, I know Maya hasn't slept and Maya probably wanted to play yesterday and get right back to it. I think Maya more than anything just wanted for our team to play the way that we're capable of playing, and I thought she gave us a big lift with her focus, her intensity. She had a double-double, she got rebounds, she made some threes. She's really hard to guard, all the little shot fakes. She was very, very active, and I think Maya had a lot of fun today.

Q. How would you describe Seimone's response tonight, and what do you think when you're on the sidelines when you see her so fired up because she's sometimes laid back? What's that like for you?
CHERYL REEVE: Yeah, you know, it took Seimone -- like I thought maybe the initial part of the game, she wasn't in that -- she didn't kick into that bayou mode, and so I don't know what happened. We always kind of wonder what happened in the game that kind of got her going. I knew it wasn't going to be me. I told her, I'm done trying to get her going. We're both too old for that. And so 'Mone got herself going, and what her teammates tell her all the time is how much they feed off of her energy, and when she kind of displays the passion that she displayed when she got going, it's vital. I say it to her, I've been saying it to her since 2011, we don't lose when she's engaged at that level, and I thought tonight was an example of that.

Q. In the second quarter, late in that quarter you guys had a 17-3 run, you were very strong both offensively and defensively. It gave you the separation that you needed every bit of when they made the comeback in the third quarter. What was it in that second quarter that allowed you guys to pull away?
CHERYL REEVE: Well, I thought we were playing with flow, when you can get stops. I thought we got stops, defending without fouling, so you can take the ball off the rim and you can go, so I thought we had good flow. I thought we had really good pace. I thought when we did get set, I think our execution on offense was good. We moved, and we executed. That was probably the biggest thing. We executed the game plan defensively. We got some things that we were trying to get. We were more persistent on offense, and like you said, we needed every bit of it.

Q. You put some emphasis on the defensive performance after the last game; tonight twice they cut into double-digit leads, carved them down to reasonable single digits and then you were able to reestablish momentum to finish with a 19-point advantage. How were you able to do that, and specifically how were you able to be so successful at containing Parker?
CHERYL REEVE: Well, there's no question that our defense was improved. I'm sure that they had some open shots that they missed. We don't think that we can give Lavender open shots the way that we did tonight and think that's going to go like it did tonight consistently. There's just no way.

I think if you look at it, I think that we had a little more attention to detail on not letting them get where they wanted to get without giving away any kind of defensive schemes, but I thought in general, each time when they closed the gap, it was about us, the combination of things.

Third quarter there we were absolutely awful on offense. I think we went in at halftime, what were we shooting at halftime, 46, 47, somewhere in there? And the next thing you know, in the third quarter we're shooting 40 percent, which means that it was like in the 30s when we came out in the third quarter, so it was absolutely awful.

I thought we had decent shots on goal. We just couldn't put it down, and you can't have those stretches, and in the process of doing that, then all of a sudden they're going the other way, I've got no floor balance, there's lay-ups, lay-ups, lay-ups, and they've got a flow, and next thing you know, it was a one-possession game; did they cut it to three? And so we started a fire that we had to quickly douse, and our defense is what got it done. Our rebounding got it done, and then obviously kind of closing it out.

We got in the bonus early in the fourth quarter. I don't know how we only shot 14 free throws on the game when we were in the bonus so early in the fourth quarter. But that's the way it went today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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