The Indiana Fever are one win away from advancing to the WNBA Finals for the third time in six years, but guard Briann January realizes that earning that victory won't be easy on Chicago's home floor.
The Sky have made a habit out of rallying late in postseason games, and they'll try to pick up their first-ever playoff home win Monday to stay alive in the Eastern Conference finals.
"They're going to make adjustments and they play really well on their home court," January said. "We have to make our adjustments and come prepared. It is going to take everything we have to close it out in Chicago.''
January and Shavonte Zellous look to continue leading the way from the backcourt after totaling 37 points and six 3-pointers in Saturday's 77-70 home victory in Game 1.
The Fever carried a 60-48 lead into the fourth quarter before the Sky stormed back with a 14-3 run. Chicago had rallied from a 20-point deficit to knock off top-seeded Atlanta in Game 3 of the East semifinals, but Zellous helped Indiana hold on Saturday with a pair of late 3-pointers.
"We need to do a better job with keeping the ball handlers in front of us, because that led to some wide-open 3s," Sky coach Pokey Chatman told the team's official website.
The Fever went 9 of 21 from beyond the arc while holding Chatman's club to 1 of 8 from 3-point range. That helped the hosts overcome a rare off-night from star Tamika Catchings, who had 10 points and shot 2 of 12.
Catchings seems likely to bounce back as she posted back-to-back double-doubles in the semifinals against Washington, giving her sole possession of the league's career playoff scoring and rebounding records.
The nine-time All-Star had 11 points - more than eight below her season average - and nine boards in her only game at Allstate Arena this season, missing the other two meetings due to a sore back. The Fever took one of the three matchups in Chicago, winning 83-75 without Catchings on June 20.
Now they'll try for their second straight postseason sweep of the Sky as they look to reach the WNBA Finals for the second time in three years after winning the 2012 title.
Chicago, 0-2 all-time in home playoff games, will look to center Sylvia Fowles inside again after the three-time All-Star finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds in the opener.
The Sky also need Elena Delle Donne to become more of a factor after she was held to a playoff-low 14 points Saturday. The All-Star averaged 25.7 in the three games against the Dream.
The backcourt of Courtney Vandersloot and Epiphanny Prince will try to regroup after struggling at both ends of the floor Saturday. The starting guards combined for nine points and 3-of-11 shooting in Indianapolis.
"We just need to continue to fight," Fowles said, "make sure we limit our turnovers and stop dribble penetration."
- Sports & Recreation
- Indiana Fever
- Tamika Catchings
- Shavonte Zellous