WNBA: Caitlin Clark, Fever face tall task in rested Aces

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The Indiana Fever will look to record their second victory in as many nights when they visit the reigning WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces on Saturday.

Rookie sensation Caitlin Clark overcame a slow shooting start on Friday in Los Angeles by connecting on a pair of deep 3-pointers to lead the Fever to a 78-73 defeat of the Los Angeles Sparks.

“Nobody hung their head,” Clark said in her postgame interview with ION, referring to the Fever rallying from an 11-point halftime deficit and her own initial scoring woes. “Some nights the shot’s going to fall, some nights it’s not.”

Despite needing almost the entire 40 minutes to get going from long range, Clark found other ways to impact the game. She finished 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Fever (1-5).

They now head into Saturday’s second leg of a weekend back-to-back with a chance to go 2-1 on a three-game road trip.

Las Vegas (2-1), meanwhile, aims to finish its season-opening, four-game homestand on a positive note after falling its last time out.

The Aces surrendered 16 made 3-pointers in a 98-88 loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday. The defeat was Las Vegas’ first on the season, and came despite Kelsey Plum, Jackie Young and A’ja Wilson scoring 27, 23 and 21 points, respectively.

“We’re not good defensively,” Wilson said following the loss. “We needed this. This was a good, good test for us. … We’re not there yet. We’re not there defensively as we were in the past.”

The Aces have given up 80-plus points in each of their first three contests. The reigning champions have, however, scored 88 points or more each time out.

Wilson, Young and Plum are all averaging 21 points or more per game on the young season. No other Las Vegas scorer is putting up more than Alysha Clark’s 8.3 points per game.

Indiana comes in with five scorers averaging at least nine points per game, led by Clark’s 16.7.

–Field Level Media

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