INDIANAPOLIS — Tamika Catchings had 18 points and 12 rebounds and the defending WNBA champion Indiana Fever advanced to the Eastern Conference finals by completing a best-of-three series sweep of the Chicago Sky with a 79-57 victory Sunday.
Erlana Larkins added 14 points and Shavonte Zellous scored 10. The Fever (18-18) will play at either Atlanta or Washington in Game 1 of the conference finals on Thursday.
The Fever was the only team to reach the playoffs with a losing record. But Indiana took advantage of Chicago’s poor shooting to defeat the Sky for the fifth straight time.
“What we did in the regular season really doesn’t matter,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said. “I think the upper hand we had was experience. Postseason experience, championship experience. Don’t underestimate the value of that.”
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Sylvia Fowles led the Sky (24-12) with 14 points. Epiphanny Prince scored 10 points, and WNBA Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne added 10 points but was scoreless in the second half.
The Sky, in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, shot just 17 of 57 from the field (29.8 percent) but was 22 of 28 from the free-throw line (78.5 percent).
Before the game, Zellous was presented with the league’s Most Improved Player award.