September 2, 2014 Louisville, Ky. (Analyzed Sports)
Sylvia Fowles keeps Sky from falling in Game 2
Game 2 of the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals was a game for the history books. The Indiana Fever was looking to close the series to become the 3rd team in franchise history to appear in the WNBA Finals. The Chicago Sky was just trying to stay alive with a win to force a decisive Game 3. The Sky also was trying to win a home game in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. All of the Sky’s playoff wins had previously come away from home. The Indiana Fever has been a nemesis to the Chicago Sky in overall matchups. This was the 7th Playoff game between the two, and the 41st game overall. The Fever have won 32 out of the 41 meetings against the Sky.
Fever’s Shavonte Zellous was hot early from three, continuing where she left off in Game 1 as she would hit her first two threes of the 1st quarter. Zellous was also physical down low, and help clean up the boards. The Fever seemed to get every second chance point, as they were killing the Sky of the offensive glass. Still at the end of the first quarter the Fever only had a 2 point advantage 18-16.
The Fever’s offensive rebounding continued to hurt the Sky, as they would get down by a deficit of 14 points. This would be the largest lead for the Fever. Fever appeared to be in the driver seat to give their Coach Lin Dunn her 25th playoff win. Sky’s star Elena Delle Donne was looking as if she was just trying to feel her way through the game instead of fighting through to will her team to victory. Fever was dominating the Sky through all aspects of the game with their physicality and toughness on the glass. After being down 14 points, the Chicago Sky as they have shown throughout the playoffs didn’t lay down. The momentum of the game started to swing right before the half in the Sky’s favor after a huge block by Jessica Breland at the 2:20 mark. Allie Quigley would show her sweet stroke from deep with back to back threes that trimmed the lead to 10 points. The Sky would go into the locker room down 8 points at the half 39-31.
Courtney Vandersloot said the keys to getting back into the game were “Getting stops getting into our transition offensively, and most importantly rebounding” “Were getting good shots, we just got to finish” said Courtney entering the locker room at the half. Sky’s Coach Chatman was quoted as saying “It’s Do or Die” for her locker room message for the team.
With a spot of the WNBA Finals of the line, the Fever came out of the locker room aggressive looking to sweep the Sky in the Eastern Conference Finals. Sky’s Sylvia Fowles had other plans. While Elena Delle Donne was laboring throughout this game due to back injury, Fowles decided to use her back to put her team on. Fowles showed grit, heart and determination during this quarter, by muscling her way in the lane to keep her team alive. The Sylvia let out a scream heard throughout the arena after an And 1 layup that cut the Fever’s lead to 7, 46-39 at the 3:39 mark. With Indiana Fever’s All-Stars Tamika Catchings and Briann January struggling from the field, the quarter ended with only a 4 point advantage at the end of the third 52 – 48.
The grind it out game between the two rivals picked up in the 4th quarter. Elena Delle Donne back to the game after sitting most of the third having her back stretched out. Fowles continued to will this team, and showed emotion throughout the quarter. Allie Quigley’s driving lay-up would tie the game at 52 each. Fever’s Briann January would score her first two points of the game at the 8:40 mark to give her team a two point advantage 54-52. The pace was fast, the action was back and forth. After trailing by as many as 14 points the Sky take its first lead since the first quarter on a three by Elena Delle Donne at the 6:10 mark. Briann January begins to attack the rim more, and puts the Fever back up 1 with a driving layup. The Fever would go up 4 points after two by Christmas 67-63. Christmas would become the fifth double figure scorer for the Fever. This game would have 12 lead changes and 6 ties. Sky’s Syliva Fowles would continue to will her team with 18 points on 9-10 shooting from the field, along with 5 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. Her 20th point would tie the game at 67 with under 2 minutes remaining. The Fever’s January would respond on the other end with a nice pass to Larkins to give the two point advantage of 69-67. The game was going down to the wire. Tamika Catchings put the Fever up two with 11.6 second remaining, but an offensive rebound and put back at the buzzer by Tamera Young forced overtime for the two teams.
End of Regulation
Syliva Fowles will score the first two in over-time giving the Sky a two point advantage against the Fever 73-71. With Elena Delle Donne struggling up and down the court she still made play defensively forcing the Fever to take some tough shots. After 2 Free Throws by Vandersloot, the Sky would have their largest lead of the game 75-71. Fever’s forward Tamika Catchings was drawing attention from multiple Sky players it would cause her to find her team mates for wide open jump shots. The two teams would go into double over-time with some of the same clutch plays down the stretch. With 58.1 seconds left in the 2nd overtime Catchings would hit a clutch step back jumper would tie the ball game at 79. Sky’s Donne would take Tamika Catchings off the bounce to give her team a 4 point advantage 83-79. The Fever responded with a spinning And 1 lay-up by Zellous. This would cut the lead to 1, 83-82. The game would come down to a missed 3 by Zellous for the win, but it was too long. Final Score 86-84. Sylvia Fowles would finish the game with 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
The Decisive Game 3 will be played at 7pm EST in Indianapolis, Indiana Wednesday night in Banker Life Fieldhouse with a shot at the WNBA Finals on the line.
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