If the Sky are going to win without Elena Delle Donne and Sylvia Fowles, they’ll have to rebound, control the paint and get to the free-throw line.
They didn’t do enough of those things in their 83-75 loss Friday to the Indiana Fever at Allstate Arena.
Playing their fourth consecutive game without Delle Donne, who is suffering from a flare-up of Lyme disease, the Sky were outrebounded 36-26 (they had only three offensive rebounds) and gave up 44 points in the paint. The Sky went to the free-throw line only 16 times (they made seven), while the Fever shot 28-for-35 from the line.
Fowles remains out with a hip injury.
It all added up to the fifth loss in six games for the Sky (6-6), who host the Tulsa Shock on Sunday before going on a five-game trip.
Before reeling off everything that wasn’t working, coach Pokey Chatman summarized her thoughts on the game.
“We didn’t deserve to win,” Chatman said. “So we didn’t.”
Maybe not, but the Sky had a chance to take their second in a row from a Fever team that swept them out of the playoffs last season.
The Fever (6-5) took a six-point lead with 1:51 left on a Briann January leaner, but the Sky cut the deficit to two. Then Erlana Larkin made a basket with 41.3 seconds left for the Fever, who added on and eventually outscored the Sky 25-16 in the fourth quarter.
The Sky’s Epiphanny Prince led all scorers with 18 points, and Jessica Breland had 16.
“We’ve got to look within first and, like [Chatman] said, we didn’t deserve to win this game,” guard Courtney Vandersloot said.