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Chicago blitzes past Indiana

The Chicago Sky cruised to a 98-72 road victory over Indiana.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

From the opening tip, it seemed like the Sky were just more ready to play than the Fever today. Chicago started the game hot on offense and smothering on defense, and quite simply outplayed the short-handed Fever, resulting in a 98-72 win.

Indiana forward Natasha Howard was held out due to an injured left hand, and Tamika Catchings was serving a one-game suspension for making contact with an official in Friday's game against Phoenix.

Overall, though, the team never seemed to recover from the dominance the Sky showed in the first quarter.

Chicago coach Pokey Chatman wanted to take advantage of Indiana's lack of depth by working the ball inside, and the strategy proved effective. The Sky had 14 points in the paint in the first quarter alone, and held a 15-5 rebound advantage.

Indiana scored their first basket on a layup by Natalie Achonwa with 8:36 left in the first, but wouldn't score again until 2:16 was left on the clock. Chicago managed to go on an 18-0 run in that span, effectively putting the game away early.

Elena Delle Donne had her lowest scoring output of the season with 24 points, but filled the stat sheet elsewhere with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal, and a block.

Delle Donne's presence certainly opened up the floor, but Chicago didn't need to lean on their star forward; five other players scored in the double digits, including Courtney Vandersloot.

Vandersloot was the impetus for plenty of Sky scoring in the first half, being extremely aggressive on both sides of the ball. She ended with 14 points, highlighted by a pair of jumpers on back-to-back possessions early in the second, as well as three steals and two blocks.

Chicago is better known for their scoring ability than their defensive prowess, but it was their effort on the latter side of the ball that helped win this one early for them.

The Sky now stand at 2-2 and will try to get back above .500 when they play the Atlanta Dream on Friday.