Through social media the Chicago Sky have been using the term hashtag “this is our moment.” This one came in do or die fashion, winning their first playoff game at home in franchise history. Facing elimination, Sylvia Fowles scored 27 points to help the Sky overcome a 14-point deficit to outlast the Indiana Fever 86-84 in double overtime to tie the best-of-three Eastern Conference finals.
The Sky is the limit for Chicago literally. They went on a 10-0 run to pull within one in the third. Elena Delle Donne hit a three-pointer with 6:15 left in regulation for the Sky’s first lead since the first quarter.
Delle Donne’s jumper rattled in and out with less than four seconds left in regulation, but Tamera Young rebounded and scored to tie it with one second left.
In the first overtime, Tamika Catchings’ jumper tied it at 79 with 58.1 seconds left. Fowles was called for an offensive foul about nine seconds later. After a miss by Catchings, she stole the ball, but Briann January missed a jumper before the buzzer.
In the second overtime, January made two free throws with 12.2 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one before Fowles hit a free throw for the final margin with 8.8 seconds left. Shavonte Zellous missed a jumper before time expired.
All-Star Delle Donne had just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting, but her layup gave the Sky a four-point lead with 1:41 left in the second overtime. Head coach Pokey Chatman mentioned Delle Donne dealt with tightness in her back.
“All they lack is playoff experience, and they’re getting that now,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said.
The Sky dropped to 9-33 all time against the Fever, including a sweep by Indiana in the first round last year. Both of Chicago’s victories in the first round against Atlanta came on the road.
“They know this means nothing if they don’t complete the deal in a couple days,” Chatman said.
Game 3 is Wednesday in Indianapolis. The winner will face either defending champion Minnesota or Phoenix in the finals.