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September 24, 2017

Cheryl Reeve

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Los Angeles Sparks - 85

Minnesota Lynx - 84

CHERYL REEVE: I know everybody is going to talk about what a great comeback it was, etc., but that's not the world we live in. That means absolutely nothing to us. It's more what we did in the early part of the game that we're focused on; that obviously was disappointing that happened.

Q. What did you say and what kind of things can you put your finger on that allow a team that's been in the Finals six of the last seven years to start that way at home?
CHERYL REEVE: We scored two points, and I don't know, how long was it, guys? You guys probably have the number how long we were -- it was a long time.

So our offense really let us down. I thought we forced some things. It was disappointing because we spent a fair amount of time identifying opportunities, and we just, you know -- L.A. is a good defensive team, no doubt about it, as are we.

They got the upper hand in those first five minutes obviously, and then what happens there, you lose your focus and then defensively, we were terrible. So the combination was really, really bad. We kind of lost trust in what we were trying to get done.

But, you know, we did battle throughout the game, and understanding it's a long game; it felt like about a four-hour game. It felt like we played two games; it was that long. I'm sure L.A. felt that way, as well.

It's kind of tough in that locker room, though, to take the lead twice, and you need something good to happen to you. It just wasn't our day for something good to happen.

Q. Do you think it was an effort or an execution thing?
CHERYL REEVE: Execution. It's never effort with this team. I don't have to ask them to play hard. We play hard, and execution was definitely the problem.

Q. Gray made a number of big shots, obviously the one at the end. Did you like the defense you had on her, or anything you could have done differently there?
CHERYL REEVE: Yeah, I think Gray made some really good plays. You know, some of the things we were trying to get done, we got done, and she still would make a play.

That particular play there at the end, she got a step on Seimone and 'Mone got back into play. Even Maya came over to contest, but we just weren't close enough on the contest. It's a player that that's an easy shot for her; a hard shot to make obviously in that moment, but that's the world that she lives in.

We did some things well, you know, on that possession in terms what have we were trying to do, but at the end of the day, we weren't close enough to her.

Q. Last year --
CHERYL REEVE: Where do you get that fancy shirt at and nobody else gets one?

Q. This one? I think others were wise enough to take their's off.
CHERYL REEVE: It's pretty cool.

Q. Attractive. But last year after Game 5, you had some understandably critical remarks to make about the quality of the officiating and hoping that the league would do something about that over the course of this year. Have you seen that happen, and does it surprise you at all that of the six officials that were involved in the concededly incorrect calls by the WNBA's releases post game, four of them are back here to officiate the Finals?
CHERYL REEVE: I have no comment on officiating.

Q. When you look at the tape, what do you think you're going to see about what you need from Rebekkah going forward, if you're going to get over the hump in this series?
CHERYL REEVE: Yeah, we need Rebekkah obviously. Rebekkah's a fighter. She's going to -- believe me, she's probably already watching the video right now. She wants to help this team win, and we will help her find those ways so she can be on the floor.

Q. That said, did Jia and the going small there really kind of give you what you were looking for there in the second half?
CHERYL REEVE: Yeah, because you had to guard everybody on the floor. Jia gave us some tremendous minutes when we were -- early in the game when we were struggling to score. She went out there and made I think three straight shots. Her defense obviously gave us really good activity. So we don't get back in the game without Jia. So I was really, really proud of her and what she did for us.

We'll kind of go back and watch the video and see how we can do things better. You know, if we have to, you know, make some adjustments like go small, obviously we're ready to do that. But yeah, we'll have to consume what happened early in the game and see if we can find ways to be more successful offensively.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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