Last night the Indiana Fever (5-5) won its fifth game of the season, defeating the Chicago Sky (5-3) 76-69. Indiana avenged its previous loss to the Sky and tied the season series at 1-1. Chicago entered this game coming off a solid win against the New York Liberty, while Indiana just lost to the Atlanta Dream.
Chicago jumped out to an early lead, but would trail or tie the Fever for the rest of the game after the 6:06 mark in the first quarter. Indiana closed the first quarter leading Chicago 22-16. Both teams got out to a fast start in last night’s contest as they attacked the rim and pushed the tempo.
The Sky may have jumped out to a quick lead, but the Fever continued to space the floor and play inside-out. Although Indiana can shoot the three (35.2 percent) it forces the issue by attacking the rim or utilizing the mid-range game. Indiana struggled to contain Diamond DeShields, but forced other players on the Sky to score.
Erica Wheeler scored a season-high 28 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Candice Dupree added 14 points, while Tiffany Mitchell added 13 points off the bench. Rookie Teaira McCowan recorded her second double-double of the season, finishing the game with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The Fever won this game due to its three-point shooting and rebounding (36 rebounds). Over the last few games, the Sky has started to get its backcourt trio of DeShields, Vandersloot and Allie Quigley to initiate its offense more quickly, but the team as a whole struggled to shoot effectively.
Indiana shot 44.3 percent from the floor, compared to Chicago’s 37.3 percent. The Fever also shot 47.1 percent from three while the Sky shot an awful 30.4 percent from three.
DeShields had another solid performance as she continues to grow into a primary scorer for Chicago. She finished the game with 19 points, shooting 6-of-15 from the floor. Stefanie Dolson scored a quiet 11 points while Vandersloot and Quigley both scored 10 points.
Clearly, the Sky is continuing to settle into the season and get back on track after a rough start. But the team needs to improve its consistency and getting into its offense quicker.
After the second quarter, the Fever led for the rest of the game. Despite a close game between the two teams, the Fever managed to hold off each comeback from the Sky and maintain the lead.
Next up for the Sky
The Sky will be at home for its next game to take on the Connecticut Sun on Sunday, June 23, at 6 p.m. ET. Watch the game on NBA TV, The U TOO or NESN.
Next up for the Fever
The Fever will be on the road for its next game to take on the defending champion Seattle Storm on Sunday, June 23, at 7 p.m. ET. Watch the game on League Pass or JOETV.