WNBA: Caitlin Clark goes for 30 as Fever top winless Mystics

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Star rookie Caitlin Clark tied her career high of 30 points and made a personal-best seven 3-pointers to help the Indiana Fever post an 85-83 victory over the host Washington Mystics on Friday night.

Clark also had eight rebounds, six assists and four steals, the latter matching another career high, while bouncing back from a poor outing against the Liberty. Clark had just three points on 1-of-10 shooting in Indiana’s loss at New York on Sunday.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 16 points on Friday for the Fever (3-9). NaLyssa Smith added 10 points and 10 rebounds and Aliyah Boston also had 10 points.

Stefanie Dolson scored 19 points and made a season-best five 3-pointers for the Mystics (0-11), who continued their worst start in franchise history. Ariel Atkins scored 16 points, Karlie Samuelson had 11, Aaliyah Edwards contributed 10 points and 12 rebounds and Myisha Hines-Allen also scored 10 points for Washington.

The Mystics again played without Brittney Sykes (ankle) and Shakira Austin (hip).

The contest was a Commissioner’s Cup affair. Indiana is 2-1 in such games and Washington is 0-3.

Clark was fouled with 11.9 seconds left and hit both free-throw attempts to give the Fever an 84-80 lead. Samuelson answered with a trey to bring Washington within one with 7.5 seconds left.

Clark split two free throws with 5.4 seconds left to boost Indiana’s lead to two. Atkins didn’t get a 3-point shot out of her hands before time expired, and it bounced off the rim anyway.

Indiana shot 45.2 percent from the field, including 16 of 35 (45.7 percent) from 3-point range.

The Mystics connected on 43.1 percent of their attempts and were 13 of 34 (38.2 percent) from behind the arc.

Indiana led 28-19 after the first quarter and Clark opened the second period with a 3-pointer to cap a 13-0 burst and give the Fever a 12-point lead.

But Erica Wheeler’s basket with 7:27 left in the half — which gave Indiana a 38-27 lead — was the Fever’s last hoop before the break.

Atkins scored the first seven points of a 10-0 run that saw the Mystics move within one. Washington caught Indiana at 40 on a 3-pointer by Samuelson with 37.3 seconds left in the half.

Clark made two free throws with 23.7 seconds remaining as the Fever led 42-40 at halftime.

Clark drained three 3-pointers in the final 3:55 of the third quarter as Indiana took a 66-64 lead into the final stanza.

–Field Level Media

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