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Article updated: 9/15/2013 8:20 PM

Indiana awaits Sky in first playoff test

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By Patricia Babcock McGraw

Sooner or later, the Chicago Sky has to get over the hump that is the Indiana Fever.

Sooner would be a good time.

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The WNBA announced on Sunday that the Sky will open its first playoff run against its most frustrating nemesis, the Indiana Fever, the defending WNBA champion.

The Sky, which was 1-3 against Indiana this season and is 6-27 against them all time, will host the Fever in a three-game series at Allstate Arena beginning on Friday. Tip-off for the Eastern Conference semifinals is at 6 p.m. (NBA TV).

Game 2 will be on Sunday in Indiana at 2 p.m. (ESPN2) and Game 3, if necessary, will return to Rosemont on Tuesday with the time to be determined.

The Sky earned the top seed in the East with a franchise-best 24-10 record, and heading into Sunday's final regular season games it looked like the Washington Mystics would be its first-round opponent. But Washington got a win over New York and Indiana fell in overtime to Connecticut. That moved Washington into third place and dropped the Fever (16-18) into the fourth and final playoff spot in the East.

Washington will now face the second-seeded Atlanta in the other Eastern Conference semifinals. That series starts Thursday (7 p.m. ESPN2).

The matchup between the Sky and Fever features some of the league's best players. Sky center Sylvia Fowles is a strong candidate for most valuable player and defensive player of the year while Sky rookie forward Elena Delle Donne is a shoe-in for rookie of the year and will get strong consideration for MVP.

Fever forward Tamika Catchings, a Chicago native, is the defending WNBA MVP and is always a contender for defensive player of the year.

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