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posted: 5/17/2014 1:01 AM

Sky cures its fever

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If you can't beat them, take their players.

That's kind of what the Chicago Sky did in trying to solve its problem with the Indiana Fever.

Last summer, the only season series that the Sky lost was to the Fever, 3-1. In the playoffs, the Fever swept the top-seeded Sky in the first round, 2-0.

Over the off-season, the Sky signed two formidable role players from the Indiana Fever, forward Jessica Breland and center Sasha Goodlett.

Both helped the Sky get a big, 74-71 come-from-behind victory Friday night against the Fever in the season opener for both teams at Allstate Arena. It was the first Sky win at home over Indiana since August 2011.

A record opening-game crowd of 6,721 saw Breland, once a villain with the Fever, score 13 points, pull down 9 rebounds and block 6 shots. Second-year forward Elena Delle Donne added a game-high 23 points for the Sky, which was down by as many as 18 points. Goodlett added 9 points and 10 rebounds.

"Playing against Indy … I guess it was a good thing because I know all their plays and everything," Breland said with a laugh. "And I could (understand) what they were saying (from the bench)."

The Sky, with seven new players, seemed like it was still in "get-to-know-you mode" early in the game. But things began to click on both sides of the ball in the second half, when the Sky outscored the Fever 38-25.

Both teams were playing short-handed.

Star Indiana forward and former Stevenson great Tamika Catchings stayed home with a sore back, while starting guard Layshia Clarendon also didn't travel due to a concussion.

For the Sky, center Sylvia Fowles, last year's defensive player of the year, is out until mid-June while recovering from off-season hip surgery. Starting guard Epiphanny Prince is home in New York for a few more days to deal with a personal situation.

Indiana put three players in double-figures, led by rookie forward Natasha Howard, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds.

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