Record and heart break Saturday

The Mystics held on to beat the Storm, 62-59, which gave coach Mike Thibault his 212th WNBA victory – a record.

Tamika Catchings lead the Fever over the Sun, 78-66, with 22 points and six steals.

It’s a good thing Connecticut got rid of Thibault, isn’t it? They’re doing so much better this year without him.

The Sparks routed the Silver Stars, 93-66. Becky Hammon went down with a knee injury in the second quarter, was carried off the court and did not return to the game.

More on Hammon’s injury.

The Sparks looked offensively powerful today, and they were having fun on the court. If they can fix their road problem, they could win the title.

Quotes from today’s game:

Sparks coach Carol Ross

(On 18 consecutive regular season wins inside STAPLES Center)

It’s not bad. STAPLES Center has been good to us and certainly the fans. We have bottled up magic here, now we have to find a way to take it on the road.

(On taking momentum onto the road)

“When you are on the road, offense can be misleading, it is not always going to be what you want it to be. It is really going to fall back on our defense and our rebounding but that is not a secret. We just have to be a tougher, more resilient team on the road. If we need to grind out a game, we need to be able to grind it out. We have to be road warriors. We have to get to a place where we like it, where we like being the villain.”

(On Candace Parker setting the tone for the rest of the team)

“Especially coming out of half time, I thought she really established her self and got her team off and rolling. In the second half, she gave us the cushion we needed to put San Antonio away.”

Forward/center Candace Parker

(On scoring 14 points in the third quarter and what it meant to the team)

“I think we just came out and really were ashamed of how we played in the first half. I think we just were playing slow, we weren’t playing defense, we weren’t efficient, we weren’t playing with any sense of urgency at all. So I think we were just disappointed in the way that we were playing and we came out and decided that we wanted to play harder. I think it starts with me just playing with a lot of energy.”

Forward Nneka Ogwumike

(On physicality of game)

“I feel great. I’m a little beat up, as you can see by my lip, but I think we did a really good job of turning it up in the second half. We did a great job on defense—had a little bit of slippage—but for the most part, we came out and executed offensively and defensively.”

Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes

(On Delisha Milton-Jones’ Performance)

“I told her I was just really proud of the effort she had. She recognized that we needed a leader on the floor and she stepped up. She’s done that great for us, it’s just been a matter of getting our team healthy and around her. She played as good a game as she had all season.”

Forward Delisha Milton-Jones

(On team adversity)

“Becky is a key part of everything on our team and to be excited to have her back and then to see her go down was tragic. Instead of us using that as momentum and an excuse to come together, we were still thinking about her going down, and couldn’t find our way during the course of the game. With the Sparks being the way they are especially at home, they smelled blood in the water, continued their run and extended their lead. From that point we were looking back.”

Guard Shenise Johnson

(On team performance)

“I thought we came out strong in the beginning. I thought we hit them with the first punch and when Becky went down it did take the air out of us, but at the end of the day we are all professionals and we all have to carry on. I think LA did a great job rebounding and running and put a lot of pressure on us. With us not having a consistent roster playing, it affects us for 40 minutes. We were able to play well in the first half and they were able to extend their lead in the second half.”

Tomorrow’s game previews:

Sky at Liberty

Mercury at Lynx

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  1. Congrats to Coach Thibault! Below is a link to a cool tribute video by his current / former ballers, his family, Mystic ownership and even Richie. NIcely done.

    It's amazing how much difference a year makes. Things had been so bleak in Washington for several years due to poor leadership and management decisions. It would be great if they could make a deep playoff run. It's all about leadership.

  2. Poor Dan Hughes looked absolutely sick on the bench yesterday.
    Let's hope Becky's initial reaction is mistaken — the announcers reported her saying to DMJ that she felt the knee give out (or something to that effect).

    The closing of the MySA article suggests the possibility that Sophia Young may be able to return this season. I'd not seen or heard anything to that effect anywhere else. Hmmm!

    Re. the Sparks
    Oddly, their offensive efficiency in the last two games graded out identically — 46 conversions in 79 possessions, 58.2%. In the first half of the New York game on Thursday, it was 70%, 28 for 40. That's beyond uncanny.

  3. Poor Dan Hughes looked absolutely sick on the bench yesterday.
    Let's hope Becky's initial reaction proves inaccurate. The announcers reported that she'd told DMJ that her knee gave way (or something to that effect).

    the closing of the MySA piece suggest that Sophia Young may be able to return this season — the first such hint I've seen or heard. Hmmm!

    Re. the Sparks
    Oddly their offensive efficiency in the last two games graded out identically — 46 conversions in 79 possessions, 58.2%. In the first half against New York on Thursday, it was 70%, 28 for 40. That's beyond uncanny.

  4. Oops.
    Thought I'd lost it the first time.

    My computer skills are improving — almost up to merely dreadful.
    My grandson had to show me how to answer my wife's cellphone recently — he's five.
    Sad, but true!

    Sorry, Ms. Sue.

  5. We're now officially a third of the way through the season at 69 games:

    – Average game attendance is 7330
    – Down 1.7% versus last season end of 7457
    – Total game attendees just bumped over a half million at 505,752

    I thought a breakdown of attendance so far this season might be interesting to some folks. Teams with multiples in any category are noted with the exception of the <7K bucket.

    >10K ticket games – 5 (2=PHX) – 7%
    9K to 10K ticket games – 7 – 10%
    8K to 9K ticket games – 9 (2=MN) – 13%
    7K to 8K ticket games – 14 (2=CT,NY,DC) – 21%
    <7K ticket games – 34 – 49%

    Obviously with almost half of the games in the <7K bucket it is a problem when compared to the average in 2012. Within that bucket there were 14 games or 20% of the total under 6K which drives the averages down significantly.

  6. Thank you for the link, anonymous 1! Thibault is one of the most intelligent coaches I've ever met, and I'm NOT at all surprised he's achieved this milestone. I'm so glad the Mystics got him, for the reasons you stated.

    Abacus, it's cool, homie 🙂

    And yes, I really really feel for Coach Hughes and the entire SASS team. Those quotes from yesterday were so sad to read.