WNBA: Caitlin Clark, Fever brace for rematch vs. Sky

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The Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky will renew an emerging and heated rivalry when they square off Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis.

The Fever (4-10) won the first meeting 71-70 at home on June 1, a result that was overshadowed by Sky guard Chennedy Carter’s hip-check foul on Fever rookie Caitlin Clark before an inbounds play. It was ruled a common foul, only to be upgraded to a flagrant-1 foul the day after the game.

The foul, and Carter’s stated lack of regret for it, ignited several days of social media controversy that divided fans and led to accusations of racism from both sides. Clark has aimed to stay above the fray, but recently she made clear she did not want her name to be used to push political agendas.

Clark also said she did not need Carter to apologize for the foul.

“Basketball’s competitive. I get it,” Clark said. “Sometimes your emotions get the best of you — it happened to me multiple times throughout the course of my career. People are competitive.

“(Carter is) having a tremendous season. She’s played great basketball — in my eyes, probably in first place for Sixth Player of the Year.”

As for the basketball itself, the Sky (4-8) indeed are relying on Carter, who is averaging 12.9 points per game off the bench. She ranks second on the team behind Marina Mabrey (14.3 points per game).

Chicago stumbles into this contest on a three-game losing streak after dropping an 83-81 decision at the Washington Mystics on Friday as Carter scored a team-high 16 points. Coach Teresa Weatherspoon did not entertain questions about changing her starting five or adding Carter to that lineup.

“One thing about Chennedy is she’s accepted her role. As of right now she’s accepting her role and doing a hell of a job in her role,” Weatherspoon said.

Indiana has won three of five after a 1-8 start to the season. The Fever picked up a 91-84 win over the Atlanta Dream on Thursday thanks to Aliyah Boston’s career high-tying 27 points and season-best 13 rebounds.

Clark (15.6 points per game) and Kelsey Mitchell (15.4) have been the Fever’s top scorers. Mitchell scored a team-high 18 points in the Fever’s previous win over the Sky, and Clark had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists as all five Indiana starters scored in double figures.

–Field Level Media

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