WNBA: Sparks look to avenge loss to Fever, Caitlin Clark

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Four days after a step-back 3-pointer from Caitlin Clark sealed a victory for the Indiana Fever against the host Los Angeles Sparks, the teams will meet again Tuesday, this time at Indianapolis.

The Fever came out on top 78-73 over the Sparks on Friday as Indiana’s Kelsey Mitchell scored 18 points, while Aliyah Boston and Temi Fagbenle each scored 17 points. Clark delivered a near-triple double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

And while Clark went just 2 of 9 from 3-point range, she found her shooting touch in the clutch, dropping a 29-foot 3-pointer with 40.5 seconds remaining to give the Fever a late five-point lead. Her other made 3-pointer came with 2:27 remaining.

“I was due, they had to go in,” Clark said. “I had missed so many. It was time for them to go in.”

A Sparks-record crowd of 19,103 was on hand, including actors and Midwest natives Ashton Kutcher and Jason Sudekis.

On Saturday, though, the Fever was no match for the two-time defending champion Las Vegas Aces, falling 99-80 on the road, while dropping to 1-6. Mitchell had 16 points at Las Vegas, while Clark was held to eight with seven assists.

Wednesday’s game will be the second-ever meeting between Clark, the WNBA’s top overall pick in this year’s draft, and No. 2 overall pick Cameron Brink. The two college stars — Clark for Iowa, Brink at Stanford — never faced each other until Friday. Los Angeles also has No. 4 pick Rickea Jackson out of Tennessee.

Like the Fever, the Sparks have (1-4) just won just once, earning a 70-68 victory over the Washington Mystics one game before falling to the Fever. Los Angeles returned to action Sunday and dropped a tough 84-83 decision at home to the Dallas Wings.

Brink scored a career-best 21 points in her fifth game and made 3 of 6 shots from 3-point range. Her two free throws with 1:50 remaining brought the Sparks within a point, but they were unable to rally from a nine-point fourth-quarter deficit.

While Clark has averaged 15.4 points to lead the Fever, to go with 6.3 assists and 5.4 rebounds, she is shooting just 37.1 percent from the field. Brink has averaged 10.8 points with 5.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Dearica Hamby leads the Sparks with 20.6 points and 13.2 rebounds.

“I think we showed our vulnerability to our youth,” Hamby said of last week’s loss to the Fever. “Lack a little bit of composure, kind of going away from the things that were working in the first half and we let the frustration of not being able to score the ball dictate our defense and we can’t do that. They are too good of individual players to let that slippage happen.”

–Field Level Media

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