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Candace Parker leads Sky past Fever in second-half flurry

Sportsnaut
Sep 7, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; The WNBA logo on a ball during the fourth quarter of game one of the WNBA finals between the Seattle Storm and the Washington Mystics at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

Candace Parker had 16 points and Azura Stevens scored 15 off the bench as the Chicago Sky erased a seven-point halftime hole to beat the visiting Indiana Fever 95-90 on Tuesday night.

Parker also recorded seven assists and six rebounds, while Courtney Vandersloot added 14 for the Sky (4-2), who scored 53 second-half points and went 27-for-35 from the free-throw line on a night their 2021 WNBA championship banner was raised.

Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper each scored 12 for Chicago, which won its seventh straight over Indiana (2-7).

Kelsey Mitchell posted 15 of her 25 points in the fourth quarter, Victoria Vivians had 17 points and seven rebounds and rookie Emily Engstler finished with 11 and 13 rebounds for the Fever, who have lost five in a row.

Chicago scored nine of the first 11 points in the third quarter, and outscored the Fever 28-16 for the period. Stevens had seven points in the third, and the Sky led 70-65 after three, but Indiana used a 7-0 run, highlighted by Mitchell’s traditional three-point play with 7:53 to play in regulation, to lead 77-74.

Down 81-80 after another Mitchell bucket, Parker, however, completed scored with 5:07 left and gave Chicago the lead for good.

Indiana trailed by as many as nine in the first quarter, but outscored the hosts 27-14 in the second, thanks to 10 points in the period from Vivians. The Fever took their first lead of the night at 37-35 on Engstler’s 3 with five minutes left in the period.

Chicago eventually went ahead 40-39, but a Vivians’ 3 followed, igniting a first-half-closing 10-2 run that put Indiana ahead 49-42 at the break.

Chicago used a 9-0 run for an 11-2 lead. However, Indiana overcame a 1-for-8 shooting start to string together an 11-2 spurt and tie the game at 13. But, 3-pointers from Dana Evans (10 points) and Stevens helped the Sky score seven of the final nine points to take a six-point lead into the second period.

Indiana played a fourth consecutive game without rookie NaLyssa Smith (13.0 points per game, 10.0 rebounds per game), due to an ankle injury.

–Field Level Media