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October 1, 2017

Cheryl Reeve

Los Angeles, California

Lynx - 80, Sparks - 69

CHERYL REEVE: I know you guys are going to be writing about how eerily similar things have gone in this five-game series as last year, and I guess rightfully so. I'm just proud of our team. Not many teams have come in -- actually one team this season has come in here and won a game, so we knew it was a tall task. Obviously we were up for it, and we were prepared to do whatever was necessary. I think our hustle plays were the story of the game. Getting them on the glass, making our own breaks, that's what we're about, and we finally got that done today.

Q. Coach Agler talked about on Friday the fact that you guys had success with that smaller lineup. Tonight Brunson and Fowles really thrived. What allowed them to do that?
CHERYL REEVE: Their competitive fire. This is a group that -- they just rise to the challenge. I mean, obviously Rebekkah has had moments in the series where she doesn't necessarily feel great about what's happened, and she's just someone that just responds. They're picking their poison and they're telling her, you're going to have to play well, and each time has we've won. From the standpoint of our team, she is a huge part of our identity, and having her on the floor is really important to us.

I was particularly proud of her today.

Q. What was your appeal to the team before you went out on the floor? This is a veteran team, so I would imagine not too much fire and brimstone is necessary, but what did you tell them?
CHERYL REEVE: That the only thing that mattered at this point was the 75 possessions we were about to play. Whatever happened in Game 1, whatever happened in Game 2, whatever happened in Game 3 just had no bearing on what was about to happen, and we had to pour everything we had into the coming 75 possessions, and I thought we did that.

Q. What did you think about your team's response after Lindsay was called for that flagrant on that play with Sims? They seemed to really respond in a good way, in a physical and dominant way after that. What did you see there?
CHERYL REEVE: I think we went on a 32-15 or 32-17 or something like that run. I don't know if that had anything to do with it, but I think it goes both ways. I think each team has a mindset that you just don't want to give your opponent anything easy. I think it was kind of interesting Magic [Johnson] sitting there. I suspect he probably remembers a day when that was just a foul, not review and a flagrant, and it was just a foul. It was a playoff foul. We have this new term of "unnecessary." Well, that's kind of subjective. We thought it was necessary that she not get the lay-up off. But the new rules and the world that we live in was it deemed as unnecessary.

At the end of the day, it's just a competitive player. Odyssey is competitive, Lindsay is competitive. I'm not sure if that's the reason why our team had a response. I thought we were in pretty good shape mentally even outside of that play.

Q. Talk about the leadership role that Whalen plays.
CHERYL REEVE: She's just critical to our team. She's our floor general. All the clichés you want to use about your point guard. We feed off of Lindsay, and if you're around our group, you understand that's a player -- I didn't bench her in Game 3. We just thought there was something better, but for her she just takes that as -- she doesn't want to be on the sideline. She wants to be out there with her team. She was disappointed in maybe the way that she managed the game in Game 3, and she was persistent, as was Brunson, to make sure that she impacted the game from a leadership standpoint. I think that was the game that she said, I've got to be a better leader, and I thought she was tough minded. I thought she was excellent at getting us organized and getting us into our stuff. Not a perfect game by any stretch, but it's her toughness that has made Lindsay Whalen the player that she is today.

Q. With your team, was it a case of worrying, or was it more of a case like we're just going to go out there, devil-may-care attitude, we're going to run our offense?
CHERYL REEVE: I think we're a confident group. I think we're a group obviously that's been through a lot through the years. We've been in tough Finals series before, obviously as early as last year. We're just a team that's tough minded, resilient, when our backs are against the wall -- I think LA would probably say the same thing. I think we share that as a team with them, and I think that was probably it. I think our shoot-around was exceptional. I thought our preparation and our mindset was exceptional, and I was hoping they were going to get rewarded with the way that they approached that, and they carried it into the game, which was great.

Q. In shoot-around you said, I get to sleep better at night because of the leadership that I have on my team. You talked about Whalen. If you can just address also Maya Moore as well as Seimone Augustus and what they bring.
CHERYL REEVE: And I did say that because people ask, are you worried going into Game 4? For whatever reason I don't -- if you don't win, your season is over, but you can't think like that. You just want to pour everything you have into 75 possessions and let the chips fall where they might. I thought we were incredibly focused because of Lindsay, Seimone, Rebekkah and Maya. They're a group -- and Syl. She's not one of my captains, but those are my five starters, and they're unbelievable leaders. They have unbelievable confidence in themselves, and they have this fire in their belly that is second to none, and you follow their lead, and they just -- it's been a group that has so much confidence in each other, belief in what we're doing, belief in our identity, and obviously we were fortunate enough to win the game tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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