Fever-Sky Preview


The Eastern Conference pulled out a thrilling win at the All-Star game thanks to Tamika Catchings' clutch play.

She also stepped up against the slumping Chicago Sky last week.

Catchings and the visiting Indiana Fever try to hand the Sky a seventh consecutive loss as these teams meet in the second of back-to-back matchups Tuesday night.

After scoring the go-ahead layup with 6.9 seconds left, Catchings knocked the ball away from Skylar Diggins to seal the East's 125-124 overtime victory Saturday. Catchings, who was making her record-tying ninth All-Star appearance, finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and five steals.

Catchings now turns her attention back to the Sky, who couldn't keep up in an 82-64 loss at Indiana on Thursday in their final game before the break. Chicago cut what was a 17-point deficit to five at the end of the third quarter before Catchings scored 14 of her 25 over the final 10 minutes.

"I think when Catch is not fatigued and not winded, she's as good as there is," coach Lin Dunn said. "And she certainly put on a show for us tonight with her ability to attack the rim and just get timely shots and play great defense."

Catchings, who debuted July 5 after missing the start of the season with a back issue, has scored at least 21 in four of the last five games.

"Just be aggressive, take what the defense gives you," she told the team's official website. "The biggest thing I've been able to do since coming back is just letting the game come to me and not trying to do everything."

The Sky (8-14) have managed just 69.3 points per game during their losing streak, and there doesn't appear to be any end in sight without Elena Delle Donne. The All-Star guard, averaging a team-best 21.2 points, continues to receive treatment for Lyme disease back home in Delaware.

Delle Donne has missed 13 of the last 14 games, and point guard Courtney Vandersloot also remains out with a knee injury. Vandersloot is averaging a league-leading 6.4 assists.

The Sky were held to 36.2 percent shooting against the Fever last week while getting outscored 42-22 in the paint.

"Against a team like Indiana that just can't happen," said Sylvia Fowles, who had 15 points.

While Indiana has gone 5-8 at home, it owns the East's best road record at 6-4. The Fever play their next five as the visiting team and finish the regular season with seven of 11 on the road.

"We don't really fear going on the road," Dunn said. "Sometimes I think we get more rest on the road than we do at home."

Indiana has won seven of eight at Chicago - including playoffs - after splitting two meetings there this year.