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posted: 8/6/2013 10:58 PM

Fever continues to frustrate Sky

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Suddenly, a loud scream echoed through the almost empty tunnel at the Allstate Arena.

There was feeling behind this scream. It came deep from the pit of Pokey Chatman's stomach.

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The Chicago Sky head coach had just met with reporters and was heading back to the locker room to digest yet another loss to the Indiana Fever.

Can you say (or scream) "frustration?"

Despite the return of star rookie and leading scorer Elena Delle Donne, who missed the previous two games with a concussion, the Eastern Conference-leading Sky dropped a 64-58 decision to the Fever on Tuesday night to fall to 13-7. It was the Sky's second loss in a row to the Fever, which got a 21-point win over the Sky on Saturday in Indy.

In its eight-year history, the Sky is 6-26 against the Fever, which is now 10-10. Indiana finished 5-0 against the Sky last season en route to winning the WNBA championship.

"I think (the Fever) just comes out and they just beat us up," said Sky center Sylvia Fowles, who scored a team-high 14 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season.

"I'm not saying that should be an excuse. It's not like we've never seen physical play before. But it's very, very aggravating and disappointing because we know what we have on this team and the pieces we have to get things done.

"But there's just something about Indiana that we just can't put it together. It's a lesson learned."

Fever star forward Tamika Catchings had plenty of teaching moments.

The former Stevenson star scored a game-high 18 points and also rolled up 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Her steal in the final moments was key because a Sky bucket on that possession would have kept the game within reach.

Overall, the Fever had 13 steals on the night, while the Sky had just 2 to go with 15 turnovers.

"We match up really well against each other, and this is a big game for us because this is the closest team to us and it's always a battle," Catchings said. "It was (physical). A lot of times you're out there getting bumped around. But it's fun to play like that.

"As a team, we've gotten more physical than we were before. We've grown into that."

The Sky, which also got 12 points (in 31 minutes) from Delle Donne and 11 points from Epiphanny Prince, cut its deficit to 3 points with 1:51 remaining. But 2 turnovers in a row and the steal by Catchings sealed the Sky's fate.

pbabcock@dailyherald.com

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