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September 11, 2022

Alyssa Thomas

Jonquel Jones

Brionna Jones

Connecticut Sun

Game 1: Postgame

Las Vegas Aces 67, Connecticut Sun 64

Q. For Alyssa Thomas, Becky earlier mentioned how relentless you guys were on the glass, especially rebounding. Can you talk about having that tenacity as far as rebounding and defense, things of that nature and what you have to do for Game 2?

ALYSSA THOMAS: Yeah, I think that's been our identity all season, playing hard, getting rebounds on the defensive and offensive end, and just really trying to get second possessions when we're not hitting shots.

Q. Jonquel, curious how you would evaluate your team's decision-making, especially in the second half, and what were the Aces doing that made some of those decisions a little bit more difficult and a lot of those shot-clock violations?

JONQUEL JONES: I think, you know, we just have to be a little bit more aware of the shot clock. I think we were in positions where we could make plays later on but we just weren't as aware of that. That's an easy fix.

But ultimately I'm happy with the game that we played and we gave ourselves a good opportunity to come out there with a win, and it just didn't go our way. But we are excited about Game 2.

Q. Brionna, what is the biggest difference defensively between the second quarter and third quarter?

BRIONNA JONES: I think it was just our intensity and everything. I think they were hitting some tough shots. They were getting to the free-throw line. On the other end we weren't attacking the basket as much as we were in the first half and we didn't get to the free-throw line as much as we wanted to. It was just a battle of getting to the basket.

Q. So I'm asking this because I've been with you for a little bit now, and second half the lid got tight on the basket. Was wondering, what was the spirit like in that time? Because you've talked about sometimes the pressure and the tension and missing shots. Were you uplifted or was it getting tight for a second there?

JONQUEL JONES: Well, I don't think it ever felt tight. I think it was just, you know, it was just basketball. We were shooting shots and they weren't going in. But ultimately we were playing great defense as well and that's one of the things I talked about, finding the wins within the game. Yes, we weren't hitting the shots we know we can hit but we were also playing good D. Ultimately, we'll be all right.

Q. You guys have been in this position before, having played in the Finals. I'm kind of wondering, having been in that situation and having lost games in the Finals before, when you're approaching that mentality after a game, how you're feeling, and what you take away that you maybe wouldn't have that first time around?

ALYSSA THOMAS: I mean, after this game, we have to have a lot of confidence. I mean, this is a three-point game and we had a chance to tie.

I think we are very confident and we know that all you need is one, and then there's two games at our place. So yeah, there's some things we can clean up. Of course we can make more shots, but overall we played a hard game.

Q. For all of you, what kind of challenges does A'ja present and what does she do differently from other players you've faced when she's going like that?

JONQUEL JONES: I think she can score the ball, ultimately. She's able to score at different levels. I think that's a tough challenge. She's attacking the rim really aggressively right now, so it's tough.

So I think just throwing bodies at her and making sure we are congesting the lane. With all the really good players in this league, it's not just one person; it's a team effort and we locked in a little better in the second quarter with understanding we have to show more bodies at her and give her more congestion and guard her as a team. I think that was the biggest change.

Q. Jonquel, seemed like you were really able to impose your game even though they came out with the win. What were you able to do to throw them off their offensive game?

JONQUEL JONES: Like AT said, we are a tough defensive team and coming into this series we understood it was going to be a really good offense against a really good defense. That's what it's going to be.

I think it's our MO. We were able to make the game a little bit messy, getting into them, making things tough and making them make extra passes, and that's what we do.

Q. You ladies have already played this team during the regular season and you have beat them once here already. Is there anything new that you learned about this team today that you didn't know before the regular season?

ALYSSA THOMAS: No, it's playoffs. Nothing matters in the regular season anymore, which we proved last series. It's 0-0.

Today we came out, we played hard, and unfortunately they hit more shots than us and we didn't get stops in a timely manner. But there's a Game 2, and we will watch the video and be prepared for the next game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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