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October 14, 2012

Tamika Catchings

Erin Phillips



TAMIKA CATCHINGS:  I thought it was a great team effort by us, one thing we knew coming into this series, we knew that there was a possibility of not having Katie Douglas with us, but also with that, we had already talked about when one person goes down, we all step up.  And tonight, definitely a witness of that.  Everybody stepped up and did their job.  Can\'t say enough about Larkins on the boards.  I mean, she was everywhere, and you know, everybody, 1 to 11, even the people that didn\'t play, just the support that we didn\'t play, the support that we got from one another, it was a great team effort.

We are not here just to be in the Finals, we are here for a great opportunity, and both teams, we both want it bad.  So every game is going to be just like this game.  It\'s going to be tough, it\'s going to be hard‑nosed.  Boards and defense are going to be the story of the game.

ERIN PHILLIPS:  Yeah, I think just Game 2 is going to be a whole lot tougher and a whole lot harder.  We expect Minnesota to come out and just be really aggressive.

You know, so we are going to be ready for that, but you know, I thought like she said, it was a great effort without one of our stars, Katie.  But I think this team all year has shown what we can handle through some adversity, and I\'m just really proud of this win.  But it doesn\'t mean anything if you don\'t win two more.

Q.  How did you force the Lynx to take 12 straight misses in the fourth quarter.  That seemed to make the difference at the end.

TAMIKA CATCHINGS:  Honestly, just our defensive intensity went up in the fourth quarter.  Every game is a game of highs and lows and there are going to be runs and both teams are going to make runs.  I think the great thing about this team is just like she said, we faced adversity and being able to step up in that fourth quarter and just go after it and big up our defensive intensity was a big key for us.

Q.  Was there anything in particular on defense that you were going to get in the face of Minnesota?  It seemed like you were disrupting them the entire game.

ERIN PHILLIPS:  I think we have a defensive scheme, and we stick to it.  We pride ourselves on our defense.  We have been working relentlessly on it since training camp day one.

So you know, there\'s a lot of‑‑ we rely on each other, backing each other up.  There\'s a lot of trust on this team.  We support each other.  We stay positive, and you know, our defense is just as aggressive as our offense.

Q.  When you\'re on the road and the home team makes a run like that and they have got the crowd behind them, it\'s easy to let things spiral and spin, you guys look more like the team that is the defending champs, as opposed to the team that actually is.  Just talk about that and taking control of the game again.

TAMIKA CATCHINGS:  This is the environment you live for, you live to play in.  Honestly when we first ran out, we both ran out at the same time, so the crowd was going crazy.  I was like, oh, my gosh, they are cheering for us (laughing).

But just being in the atmosphere like this, I remember last year watching it on TV, and like, wow, I\'d Los Angeles Lakers to play in that environment, and kind of to fast forward 365 days and here we are in that same environment.  We really used it tonight.  I felt like we used it to our advantage and just‑‑ I mean, I felt like my adrenaline was just like, I was really into it.

I think the fans, the fan support for them is tremendous.  We used it to our advantage, as well.

Q.  What does it say about the versatility of the team when you, Tamika went 6 of 20 from the floor and as a team 5 of 22 from the three‑point line and came out with a very convincing win‑‑

TAMIKA CATCHINGS:  Team effort.  It takes a team to win.  It\'s not about one person doing everything and the team winning.  It\'s really a team and I thank God for the opportunity to be here and have such great teammates because without them, even when I missed my shot, I look over, they are constantly encouraging me.  That\'s the one thing about this team, like Erin talked about, is just that constant just knowing that you have somebody behind you 24/7.

Q.  Talk about Larkins and the toughness and grit she provided for you.

ERIN PHILLIPS:  That\'s E.  She puts high expectations of herself to be that aggressive rebounder.  She just does the one percent thing; she\'s such a hustle player.  I remember, I think she had 20 rebounds one game and I said, why didn\'t you get 21, you know.  Don\'t be satisfied.  And she\'s not.  She\'s not satisfied.  And that\'s why she\'s just blown‑‑ come out, blown us all away, but we expect it from her and we expect that from her in the next upcoming games.

Q.  Game2 is coming up on Wednesday, you\'re still in Minnesota, you know that they are going to come out even more aggressively.  What do you guys have to do to prepare for that up and the intensity?

TAMIKA CATCHINGS:  First thing is rest, rest in between these games.  We know there\'s going to be adjustments from both sides.  I think for us, we just have to‑‑ we have to pick it up on defense and we have to do a better job defensively and we have to do a better job on the boards.

And I mean, coming from where I\'ve come from, especially under Pat, that\'s the one thing she preaches is defense and rebounds are what win championships.  So we didn\'t do a good job on the boards; we didn\'t win the boards tonight.  We know we can do a better job.  Larkins had 16 boards tonight, but I don\'t know what everybody else had.  So we all need to get 16 the next game; how about that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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