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Surging Sky look to hand Fever a fifth straight loss

Sportsnaut
Oct 17, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot (22) and Chicago Sky forward/center Candace Parker (3) block Phoenix Mercury guard Shey Peddy (5) during the second half of game four of the 2021 WNBA Finals at Wintrust Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

With 36-year-old Candace Parker playing at a high level and Kahleah Copper back in the mix, the Chicago Sky appear poised for some sustained success.

That likely doesn’t bode well for the Indiana Fever, who haven’t won since May 13.

The Sky (3-2) will try to hand the visiting Fever (2-6) a fifth consecutive loss on Tuesday night.

Parker totaled 16 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to become the oldest player in WNBA history to post a triple-double, while Copper scored 12 in her season debut Sunday as Chicago overcame a four-point halftime deficit in an 82-73 win at Washington.

Parker leads the defending champs in scoring (14.0) and rebounding (8.0). Copper, the 2021 WNBA Finals MVP, is back from playing overseas and made an immediate impact for the Sky, who shot 54 percent and racked up 23 assists Sunday.

Add in veterans Emma Meesseman and Courtney Vandersloot, a healthy Allie Quigley and budding star Azura Stevens and the Sky finally seem at full throttle. They’ve allowed an average of 68.8 points to win three of four after opening with a 98-91 overtime home loss to Los Angeles.

“We play for one another,” Parker said. “We get hyped for others’ successes. And we celebrate them.”

Indiana has not done much celebrating while losing four straight — by an average margin of 14.8 points — since winning at New York on May 13. The Fever, relying on a host of rookies during their rebuild, allow a league-high 88.1 points per game.

On Sunday, the Fever celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the club’s lone WNBA title team, then fell 92-70 to Connecticut. Interim Indiana general manager Lin Dunn, who coached the 2012 squad, hopes the franchise is in the early days of building another title contender.

“It’s gonna take time. It’s gonna take patience,” Dunn told The Indianapolis Star. “But, I think we’ve made a good start so far.”

Kelsey Mitchell (17.9 points per game) continues to pace the Fever, who have lost six straight to Chicago. Rookie NaLyssa Smith (13.0 points, 10.0 rebounds) could miss a fourth straight game with an ankle injury.

–Field Level Media