Zellous' Hot Hand Key Fever Victory

By Greg Rappaport | August 30, 2014

Even on a night when Fever superstar Tamika Catchings was 2-of-12 from the field, even on a night when team anchor Erlana Larkins was relegated to the bench with early foul trouble, even on a night where it seemed like no shot would fall -- the Fever took Game 1.

Locked in a tight game against the Chicago Sky, Indiana found scoring wherever they could. More often than not, it was from shots released by Shavonte Zellous, who amassed 18 points in the 77-70 victory.

Zellous' 18 points, her most since a July 8th game, was what sealed the crucial Game 1 win for the Fever.

"We know they have great players and anyone can go off on any night," Sky forward Elena Delle Donne said. "[Zellous] made some really clutch shots that were kind of just the nail in the coffin at the end of the game."

If there was one coffin nail in particular, it came with just 1:02 remaining, and the Fever clinging to a three point lead. As Catchings was swarmed by defenders on the low block, she fired a pass to an open Zellous, who calmly knocked down a 3-pointer. The Fever's final field goal of the evening.

"I've been struggling in the first series," explained Zellous to crowd of reporters. "Coach [Stephanie White] talked to me and told me what she needed me to do.

"She told me to be aggressive and I think from think from the gates that's what my mentality was."

For Catchings, on a night where she expended much of her energy guarding the 6-foot-5 Delle Donne, the scoring help was much appreciated. She was gracious for the contributions of both Zellous and January (19 points), which allowed her to buckle down even more on her unenviable defensive assignment.

"Both of them came out, just their aggression that they had early on, and carrying it through 40 minutes," Catchings said. "That was really key for us."