When Sylvia Fowles spoke in the locker room after the Sky’s 86-84 double-overtime victory Monday over the Indiana Fever, her voice was a bit softer and much raspier than usual. Clearly, she and her voice gave just about everything to keep the Sky’s season alive and force a decisive Game 3 in the Eastern Conference finals.
It was barely enough.
“We never got down when we were down,” said Fowles, who was 12-for-14 from the field and led all scorers with 27 points. “Everybody was talking on the bench, everybody’s energy was just going and at that point you really don’t know who to listen to but to just keep going out there and keep playing as a unit.”
Whoever the Sky were listening to told them the right things. They rallied from a 14-point deficit but had to watch the Fever take and miss potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation and both overtimes, including Shavonte Zellous’ 3-pointer that went long to end the game.
Tamera Young’s put-back with a second left in the fourth quarter after Elena Delle Donne missed a floater sent the game to overtime.
Delle Donne scored only nine points as she dealt with a tight lower back. Courtney Vandersloot had 18 points and five assists, with most of those totals coming after she was run over by Marissa Coleman in the first quarter. Fowles picked up her third foul with 6:34 left in the second but didn’t make any noticeable changes to her game.
Still, the Sky had just enough to send the series back to Indiana for Game 3 on Wednesday. They held the Fever to 35.6 percent shooting and showed a resiliency that didn’t surprise coach Pokey Chatman.
“I know it’s there,” she said. “Because of some unfortunate circumstances that have been well-documented, it’s second nature for them to bounce back and stick together and feed off of each other.”
That’s what the Sky have had to do in the playoffs. They’ve trailed by double-digits in their three postseason victories, and they’ve won those games by a combined six points.
“We just need to know that we’ve been in this position before, and I think that’s one thing that keeps us all grounded and keeps us together,” Vandersloot said. “We’ve done it before, and we’re just going to keep pushing.”