Game Preview: Fever at Sky (Game 3)

Game Preview: Fever at Sky (Game 3)
Indiana Fever vs. Chicago Sky
Eastern Conference Semifinals, Series tied 1-1

Date: Monday, September 21, 2015
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Site: Allstate Arena (Chicago, IL)
Radio: 93.1 FM WIBC
Television: NBATV
Webcast: Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access on (Webcasts during games televised on FOX Sports Indiana may not be available in local market areas due to blackout restrictions.)

Storylines & Promotion

  • Indiana forced a deciding Game 3 in its Eastern Conference Semifinals series against Chicago with an 89-82 victory over the Sky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday night. Game 3 is set for Monday night at 8:00 p.m. (ET) at Allstate Arena in Chicago.
  • With Saturday’s victory, the Fever have now won five of their past seven playoff elimination games. Overall, Indiana is 12-9 all-time in elimination contests, including a 9-2 record at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • Indiana has now won at least one playoff game in a WNBA-record nine consecutive seasons.
  • The Fever are seeking their fifth consecutive trip to the East Finals and their eighth in the past 11 years. The Indiana Fever and Los Angeles Sparks are the only WNBA franchises ever to reach the conference finals at least seven times within a 10-year period.
  • Indiana’s win over Chicago Saturday ended a seven-game overall losing streak to the Sky. The Fever had not defeated Chicago since Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals last season, a 77-70 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on August 30, 2014.
  • Tamika Catchings is now only eight points shy of being the first player in league history to score 1,000 points in the postseason. Including both games this series, she has now scored 20 or more points in 23 career playoff games.
  • Erlana Larkins pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds in Indiana’s Game 2 victory. She has now recorded 10 or more rebounds in 15 of her 20 career playoff games with the Fever, including 11 of the last 13 games. She ranks fourth all time in WNBA postseason history with a career average of 9.4 rebounds per game.
  • Shavonte Zellous finished with 16 points and a career playoff high with eight assists on Saturday. She has scored in double figures in six of her last seven playoff games.
  • Lynetta Kizer posted playoff career highs with 12 points and five rebounds – all offensive – as she returned to the Fever lineup in Game 2.
  • Indiana finished with 18 offensive rebounds – the highest offensive rebounding total in a regulation game in the franchise’s postseason history.
  • The Fever have held 2015 WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne to just 12.5 points per game on 33 percent (8-for-24 FG) shooting from the field through the first two games of the series.

Probable Starters
Fever – F-Marissa Coleman, F-Tamika Catchings, C-Erlana Larkins, G-Shenise Johnson, G-Briann January
Sky – F- Elena Delle Donne, F- Jessica Breland, C- Erika de Souza, G- Tamera Young, G- Courtney Vandersloot

Series Recap
(September 19, 2015) Game 2 – Indiana was able to weather the storm through several second-half runs by the Chicago Sky as the Fever avoided elimination with an 89-82 victory in Game 2 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Saturday night. After exchanging leads seven times throughout the third quarter, the Fever took control late in the period and led by as many as seven before Chicago cut the deficit to one, 71-70, early in the fourth quarter with an 8-2 run. Indiana built its lead back to five, but the Sky again used an 8-2 run to lead 78-77 with 5:51 remaining in the game. However, Marissa Coleman converted a pair of key jumpers down the stretch and the Fever defense forced stops on seven of Chicago’s final eight possessions as Indiana improved its record to 5-2 in the last seven games while facing postseason elimination. Tamika Catchings turned in a game-high 22 points, while Shavonte Zellous added 16 points and a playoff career-high eight assists. Briann January finished with 14 and Lynetta Kizer added 12 off the bench.

(September 17, 2015) Game 1 – Led by Tamika Catchings with 21 points, the Fever clawed their way back after digging an early hole; but trailing 72-75 with under a minute to play, Catchings’ three-pointer to tie fell off the mark while Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot cashed in a pair of free throws as Chicago prevailed, 77-72, in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Indiana managed just 15 points in the opening frame and trailed by nine at the end of the first quarter. The Fever would bounce back in the second to close the gap to 35-36 heading into halftime. But after Chicago took a 52-44 advantage with 1:35 left in the third quarter, Indiana took off on a 14-2 run that gave the Fever their largest lead of the night, 58-54 with 7:37 remaining. The teams exchanged leads four more times with three tied down the stretch; but Indiana would miss its final four field goal attempts in the final two minutes while Chicago cashed in at the line to move the Fever to the brink of elimination. Catchings led the Fever with 21 points. Marissa Coleman chipped in 11 while Shenise Johnson added 11 in her Fever playoff debut. Allie Quigley led the Sky with 22 points and five assists off the bench. Vandersloot added 17 while WNBA MVP finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sky swept the Fever during the regular season, winning three of the four matchups by at least 23 points and by a combined average of 20.3 points per game. Before this season, Chicago had never defeated Indiana more than twice in the same regular season in the history of the 10-year series. Indiana and Chicago have met in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons with the lower seeded squad winning each series. In 2014, the fourth-seeded Sky upended the second-seeded Fever in three games during the Eastern Conference Finals.