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Los Angeles Sparks Defeat Connecticut Sun 87-77

July 14, 2017 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Los Angeles Sparks News Release

The Suns offense started strong with a new Sparks opponent high 32 points in the first quarter. * Head coach Curt Miller received a technical at 0:12 in the second quarter. * Sparks defense limited the Sun to a Sun's season low 12 points in the 3rd quarter. * Jasmine Thomas tied a season high with a game high 5 steals versus the Sparks. Jasmine would finish the night with 14 points. * Jonquel Jones led the Sun with 20 points. This was the 6th time this season Jonquel has scored 20+ points. * Connecticut had 4 players reach double figures in points: Jones 20, J. Thomas 14, Bentley 11, and C. Williams 10.

POSTGAME QUOTES: Los Angeles Quotes: Head Coach Brian Agler

(On Connecticut...)

"Connecticut is a very good team. They are the real deal. We knew they were going to come in really loose and taking quick shots. They were hitting shots early and they put us on our heels a little bit. We dug down a little bit better defensively, got some stops, started playing in transition and was able to take a one-point lead. But I was really proud of how we showed a lot of persistence and resiliency."

(Changes in the second quarter...)

"But our defense started getting better there in the second quarter. We had a lot of people who are good on-ball defenders. They have good We were happy that after the first quarter they didn't get a lot of threes to go down because they are an excellent three-point shooting team. And we are really happy about how we eliminated their second chance point opportunities, they didn't get many offensive boards."

(On Candace Parker...)

"When she's really engaged, she's a facilitator as much as she is a scorer and a rebounder. The way I look at things is the real elite players play elite, but they also make their teammates better and that's what she does. She can get shots for other people, just like that big three that Riquna hit. So, she sees the floor so well and of course the combination of her and Nneka, they sort of bring the best out of each other."

Sparks Candace Parker (On enjoying the game more in her older days...) "It's more fun because I have a better perspective and I am more appreciative of my opportunity. I think when you're young, you look at the game as always being there but I look up and I am 31 years-old and people are asking me when I plan on retiring and that question kind of takes me back like 'woah! come on'. Right now, you don't really know what tomorrow is going to bring so I enjoy and appreciate everything a bit more."

(On when she plans on retiring...) "I am taking it day-by-day and I think that is why I am enjoying the game so much."

(On how hard it is to juggle her lifestyle...) "There are millions and millions of working moms out there I'm just fortunate that I can share my job with my daughter. She came to shoot around this morning and is always able to be around. The Sparks have been amazing ever since she was a newborn by allowing her to be there because it is very important to me to be a hands-on mom. I feel very thankful for this organization.

(On sharing the game with her daughter...) "The best part of it right now would be being able to share it with her. Some of the lessons that I teach and say to her are lessons I have to check myself on to make sure I'm following through as well. I remember one game when she was three-years-old after someone beat her she started crying and I was telling her how you can't cry after a game and she said, 'well you did' and I was like 'but it's different' but it really is not. You give all that you have and put everything out there but at the end of the day I have to check myself on the lesson I am trying to teach her.

(On finishing career as a Spark...) "I have a house here; my daughter was born here; I'm here. Even if they trade me, I'm here. I'll be at the home games in the first row."

(On winning moment at the Espy's receiving the best mom award...) "I don't know if she truly grasped the experience but I think down the line she will remember that memory. We did walk past Steph Curry and she was like 'that's Steph Curry' so I was impressed that she recognized a basketball player-she's learning."

(On her daughter, perhaps being a basketball player...) "I just want to see her enjoy something that she's passionate about. I just know that I'm so passionate about basketball and if she can find something that she is as passionate about then she will be successful."

(On veterans like Nneka setting the tone in the second quarter...) "I think it was also us defensively. The ball was moving, we were attacking the basket and when we are able to play and flow and mix that up with us maintaining our half-court offense that's when were successful. We have to get stops to do that and can't be taking the ball out every time and we figured that out. They were shooting the lights out in the beginning."

Sparks Nneka Ogwumike (On the second half game plan...) "We just wanted to make it difficult to make shots."

(On turnovers ...) "They have some aggressive guards who are trying to make plays all the time especially when they need buckets so we need to be a bit more cognitive of that. We also need to take care of the ball better. I think we're thinking about it too much."

(On her aggressiveness (3rd 20+ point game in a row) ...) "I've just been trying to stay aggressive. It has to start somewhere-I either have to start it or supplement it. That's how I've been trying to gear my game and figure it around. We can't rely on outside shots and be too passive so I'm trying to be the head of the snake that starts the team aggression."

(On defenses in defense compared to the past 2 games...) "Yeah, it was apparent. I don't even know if I have to say anything. The defense was way better we definitely had more consistent periods of getting stops and we have to keep at it to keep getting better."

(On the loss at Minnesota providing insight of where they are in the season...) "We saw at Seattle how we needed to get better. We see it in a lot of different teams; they're going to give us their best game. Obviously, Minnesota is the number one ranked team right now but we just have to focus on ourselves. Even in winning games we see things that we need to get better at."

(On game momentum and chemistry...) "I think we're slowly gaining it and people are coming into their own. "

(On Jonquel Jones...) "We have to stay on her and keep a body on her. She is a tough, young and agile guard who stays in the play until the end so we have to stay focused when guarding her."

Sparks Alana Beard (On the second half...) "We have been putting a focus on playing in flow and in order to do that we have to get stops and finish off those possessions with a rebound so that contributed to our fast play in the second half.

(On being able to finish the game...) "We controlled the game. They started creeping back in when we started making things hard particularly on the offensive end which put them in transition but once we started controlling the game and getting the ball in the hands of who we wanted we took control."

(On maintaining cohesion...) "With trust. That is something that you can't really teach that you just have to know that your team is going to be in certain situations when you're not there. We did a lot of that in the first half and I was one of the ones that wasn't at the top of my game but my teammates did a great job on backing me up on the defensive and offensive end. That just comes with time and being with each other."

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