Published September 20, 2013
| Sports Network
Chicago, IL – Shavonte Zellous scored 20 points Friday night and the defending WNBA champion Indiana Fever beat the Chicago Sky 85-72 in the opener of a three-game Eastern Conference playoff series.
Game 2 of the first-round series is Sunday in Indianapolis.
Karima Christmas and Briann January added 16 points apiece and Erlana Larkins had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Fever, who won their first WNBA title last year but are seeded fourth after going 16-18 during the regular season.
Former WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings scored 11 points in the win. January netted seven of her 16 points during the second quarter, when the Fever outscored the Sky 25-15 to take a 50-37 lead into halftime.
The Sky earned their first-ever playoff berth and the No. 1 seed with a 24-10 record in the regular season, but had a flat postseason debut, never leading after the first quarter.
Rookie of the Year Elena Delle Donne led Chicago with 20 points, Epiphanny Prince scored 19 and Sylvia Fowles had 16 with 10 rebounds. Price scored 14 of her points in the second half.
The Fever improved to 28-6 all-time against the Sky.