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Fever drop Sky in EC Finals opener

Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Briann January scored 19 points to help the Indiana Fever become one win away from their second trip to the WNBA Finals in three seasons after beating the Chicago Sky, 77-70, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Shavonte Zellous added 18 points with six rebounds as Indiana's leading scorer, Tamika Catchings, shot a paltry 2-for-12 while finishing with 10 points in the win.

The Sky's Sylvia Fowles led all players with 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Elena Delle Donne and Allie Quigley each deposited 14 points for Chicago.

Game 2 of this best-of-three series will take place Monday in Chicago.

Marissa Coleman opened the fourth quarter with a basket to push the Fever lead to 14, but Chicago busted off 11 straight to cut the deficit to 62-59 with just over seven minutes to go.

A three-point play from Fowles soon after made it a one-point game. However, Zellous nailed a 3-pointer on the following possession for a 66-62 Indiana lead.

Tamera Young split a pair of free throws 3 1/2 minutes later to bring Chicago back within three, then Zellous answered with a trey with 1:11 left to increase the margin to 69-63. Courtney Vandersloot committed a turnover on the ensuing Sky possession and the Fever sealed the win with free throws in the final minute.

Earlier, Fowles made a pair of free throws midway through the second quarter to cut the Sky's deficit to 28-27, but a quick 10-2 burst helped the Fever to a 38-29 advantage. Each team traded a pair of buckets over the final 2 1/2 minutes of the half as the Fever took a 42-33 lead into the break.

Indiana led by seven late in the third when Maggie Lucas scored five straight points to end the quarter and push the lead to 60-48.

08/30 21:29:14 ET