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October 1, 2009

Temeka Johnson

Diana Taurasi


Indiana Fever – 93
Phoenix Mercury - 84

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the ladies.

Q. Diana, second game in a row you and Cappie struggled with your shots early on and then sort of picked it up a little too late. Can you talk about that and why that's happening?
DIANA TAURASI: Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't. And that's the way it goes sometimes. We just have to stay to what we've been doing the whole season. There is no panic. There is no second guessing of any sorts.
So they came out and just played a better basketball game, I'm not going to -- the struggles we had shooting the ball wasn't the reason why we lost the game so, you know, comes and goes, you know, we're known to be pretty consistent on that side.
On the other end, I don't think we did a good enough job to win the game.

Q. What was the reason you lost the game?
DIANA TAURASI: Well, the reason we lost the game is they scored more points than us. Which is as simple and as plain as I can put it. They ran down the court, right underneath the basket, and shot easy shots the whole game. And, you know, against a really good team like them, that gives them confidence, and they're off and rolling.

Q. Cappie said this morning that you needed to bring it for forty minutes, didn't happen. Coach agreed with that. Tameka, what do you think?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: You said it, didn't happen. We brought it for 8 out of the 40, and that can't happen in The Finals. This isn't the regular season. This isn't the Western Conference Championship, and everybody is playing for that one trophy. You have to bring it from the beginning, and that's something we didn't do.

Q. In a sense, if I'm correct, I believe Coach Gaines said, Diana, that at one point I believe he said you came out flat. Would you agree with that assessment?
DIANA TAURASI: I think we came out flat, you know, in the first and the third quarter, and like Mek said, we didn't play with that sense of urgency that needs to be done at this point in the season. There is just no room to play with that lack of focus.
And now we're going to have to get it back. We have two days to prepare and, you know, home court is on their side now. They get to go home with two to close it out. Series can swing either way really quick, and it's swung in their favor pretty quick tonight.

Q. Any defensive difference, anything that they were doing tonight? Any change from the way they played Tuesday night?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: I don't think it was anything different that they did defensively. I think we just didn't do anything defensively. When it comes down to it, you have to man up and say I'm going to do my job, I'm going to stop. Actually basketball is really one-on-one, it's five people out there, but when you're matched up with that person it's one-on-one and you got to hold your own for as long as possible, and I don't think we did what we need to do defensively.

Q. When a player like Tamika Catchings has a great game like that you spend so much energy --
DIANA TAURASI: She almost had a triple-double, huh?

Q. Yeah, how does it affect your game when you have to expend so much energy?
DIANA TAURASI: It doesn't affect me on the other end. It affects the result of the game. We knew she was going to have a great game after Game 1. That's just the kind of player she is. We all knew that. I think we did a better job in the second half of containing her.
But she can hurt you in so many ways. Off the glass, driving, kicking, finding open players, I mean, she was phenomenal tonight really.

Q. D., Penny was having a great first half she scored 14 points and got knocked out in the first half. How huge was that not having her there in the second half?
DIANA TAURASI: For us it's huge. Pen is a big part of what you do, and when you don't have her there you're missing that. But we have other players on this roster that stepped up the whole season, so that's when -- it's another opportunity for someone else to step up and we didn't have that.

Q. You guys were kinda closing the gap late in the game and the ball was rolling off the rim a couple of second-chance shots, and they weren't going in. Did you have the sense that that wasn't that kind of night?
TEMEKA JOHNSON: No, we're going to fight till the end. We can't rely on that. We're going to fight till the end even though the balls were rolling out. As you can see we were still going hard and trying to get after it.

Q. Diana, you were in this position before back in The Finals when you talked about the no sense of panic whatsoever, can you talk about the composure of this team your being confident that you can go on the road and pull off some victories in Indiana?
DIANA TAURASI: That's the only way to be. They came in here tonight and showed the character they have as a unit. To lose a tough game like that and come in here and play a great game.
To make it this far you have to have, you know, strong character and people that can recognize where there is a problem and try to fix it, and that's what we're going to have to do when we go to Indiana. And a lot of that can be fixed by just communicating and energizing each other. So that's what we're going to do, communicate and energize each other.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, ladies.

End of FastScripts

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