Intense night of game action

Tonight’s WNBA results:

The Fever outlasted the Sky in overtime, 88-86. Photo gallery.

Ouch – the Lynx lose their third straight game, to the Sun. The photo on this story is not pretty.

The Dream hung on through two overtimes to take the Mercury, 100-93. The box score is bananas.

The Sparks crushed the Storm, 83-59. Midway through the action, Tina Thompson and Nnemkadi Ogwumike collided in a scramble for the ball, and Thompson’s knee was struck from the side. She lay on the court, chest heaving and screaming, in a great deal of pain. When the replay was shown on the jumbo screen, the crowd gasped. It was upsetting. Hopefully the Storm will let us know as soon as possible when a diagnosis is determined.

The Storm were already hampered by the absence of Sue Bird, who sat out with a strained hip flexor.

Storm-Sparks quotes:

Sparks Head Coach Carol Ross

(On the Sparks focus entering the game…)

“Our main objective is to take care of our home court. We are very protective over the STAPLES Center. That is always going to be a focus when we are home. Second, it is a western conference game, and we are very mindful of those as well. It is Seattle, so we have a lot of respect for their franchise. We just want to keep pushing and make sure that we are moving forward, and I couldn’t be happier with the team effort.”

(On Seattle being shorthanded…)

“Like I told the players, this is Seattle and LA. People in the uniform change from night to night for different reasons but what is on the outside of the uniform doesn’t change. To our franchise and our fans, it is a big rivalry. We play it that way and I am proud of our intensity and our ability to come out strong.”

Sparks Forward Candace Parker

(On the team’s direction going into the Olympic break…)

“I think we are hitting a good stride. Obviously it is two games, so we can’t call it a streak yet. A couple games ago, we didn’t know who we were. We aren’t going to get too high, just like we didn’t get too low when were losing. I like how we play well at home, so we have to continue to do that.”

(On playing Seattle for the fourth time this season…)

“This is the fourth time we played them, so we knew that it is really hard to beat a team four times. We had to come out with extra emotion and intensity. If we were a team that had lost to us three times prior, then we would have come out with a lot of fire.”

Sparks Forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike

(On playing back-to-back games…)

“I would really hope at this point that we handle it a lot better than the couple of back-to-backs that we have had. You know the schedule is tough, so we are really looking forward to going into the Olympic break with five straight wins. We are on track to do that.”

(On all five starters contributing double figures…)

“People have some good nights and some off nights. If we could stay consistent and the first five can start off and maintain a high tempo throughout the game I think we have the advantage every time.”

Head Coach Brian Agler

(On coping with injuries…)

“Obviously it is very tough. I told the team that no one is feeling sorry for us and other teams have been in this situation before. We did some good things today, we just didn’t have a lot of weapons. I thought we could have played a little more defensively at times especially in the first quarter and third quarter. I don’t fault our effort.”

(On their play against the Eastern Conference…)

“Nothing really changed other than the fact that we are starting to gel together offensively and defensively. We played more efficiently and didn’t turn the ball over as much. We shot the ball better, as just played better. We didn’t see that tonight because we were undermanned.”

Storm Guard Sue Bird

(On resting…)

Every once in a while you get banged up and timing doesn’t work in your favor. Coming into this weekend we had a back-to-back. It was recommended to get as much rest as possible, so it didn’t become a long term issue.”

On an upside:

Lisa Leslie was celebrating her 40th birthday today sitting courtside with her entire family, including her mother and sister. Her two-year-old son MJ appeared to be celebrating too – at one point when the Spark kids were dancing, he started doing what looked like break dancing. It was pretty cute.

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