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updated: 6/18/2017 9:41 PM

Sky let lead slip away against Fever

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  • Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell, left, drives to the basket past Chicago Sky guard Cappie Pondexter during the second half Sunday at Allstate Arena.

    Indiana Fever guard Tiffany Mitchell, left, drives to the basket past Chicago Sky guard Cappie Pondexter during the second half Sunday at Allstate Arena.
    Associated Press

 
 

Last month, former Chicago Sky star Elena Delle Donne stood in front of the visitor's locker room at Allstate Arena and talked about how weird it was to be in that locker room.

On Sunday afternoon, it was former Sky coach Pokey Chatman's turn.

"I've never been in that locker room before," Chatman said. "It (her return) is a nice storyline, I guess, but at the end of the day, I was just hunting that first win on the road."

Chatman and the Indiana Fever got it, bouncing back from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to ease past the Sky 91-79.

Indiana is now 6-6 overall, 1-5 on the road. The Sky drops to 2-9 overall, 0-5 at Allstate Arena.

Chatman had been the coach of the Sky for six seasons but was fired at the end of last season, then quickly hired by the Fever. Delle Donne spent the first four years of her WNBA career with the Sky but then demanded to be traded over the off-season and was sent to the Washington Mystics.

Both homecomings for the two biggest faces of the franchise last season didn't end well for the Sky.

"I just feel like we have to get to another level. We play with other teams, but then they find another level and we don't," said Sky guard Allie Quigley, who scored a team-high 18 points. "They bring it up and we just stay the same. We just have to not let one mistake turn into 10."

Turnovers have been a sticking point for the Sky this season. The team ranks second in the league in turnovers with 16.2 per game and had 18 against the Fever. And the Fever scored 18 points off those turnovers.

Meanwhile, the Fever had a franchise-low 4 turnovers.

"We only had 4 turnovers … that's good stuff," Chatman said. "Especially because that's something that we struggled with … and (it happened) on the road."

Another former Sky great, Candice Dupree, the first draft pick of the franchise in 2006 who was traded away to Phoenix after the 2009 season, is in her first year with the Fever and came up with a big day. She had 18 points and 8 rebounds after starting out 0-for-10 from the field. She ended up hitting 8-of-22 field goals.

"You don't know that (Dupree) is (0-for-10) because her demeanor is the same," Chatman said. "I don't keep her on the court for buckets, I keep her on the court because she understands spacing, timing, passing, what plays to run and call and it's so comforting."

The Fever also got double-figures from center Erlana Larkins (16 points), guard Shenise Johnson (14 points) and reserve guards Tiffany Mitchell (19 points) and Briann January (10 points). January, normally the Fever's starting point guard, had missed the previous three games with an Achilles strain.

After Quigley, the Sky placed its remaining four starters in double-figures. Forward Tamera Young had 16 points, center Stefanie Dolson had 15 points, forward Jessica Breland had 12 points and guard Cappie Pondexter had 10 points.

"The way that the defense of Indiana was getting up and denying our passing lanes forced us to play a little bit higher on the court than we would like," first-year Sky coach Amber Stocks said. "It threw off our spacing as well as our timing."

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