Caitlin Clark sparks resurgent Fever to fourth straight win before record crowd

NaLyssa Smith had 21 points and nine rebounds, Caitlin Clark added 16 points and seven assists, and the Indiana Fever beat the Atlanta Dream 91-79 on Friday night in front a record-breaking 17,575 fans at State Farm Arena.

Atlanta set a franchise record for single-game home attendance, surpassing the 11,609 fans who saw the team’s inaugural game against the Detroit Shock in 2008 at Philips Arena.

The game was played at the home of the Atlanta Hawks due to high ticket demand to see Clark, the No 1 draft pick. The Dream’s usual home at Gateway Center Arena in College Park has a capacity of 3,500.

The hyped matchup took a hit when it was announced that Rhyne Howard, the 2022 top pick for Atlanta, would not play due to a lower leg injury.

Indiana scored a season-high 35 first-quarter points to build a 10-point lead after shooting 70% from the field.

Clark made her fourth three-pointer, and Indiana’s 10th, to extend the lead to 71-60 midway through the third quarter. It came during an 11-3 run that ended in a 79-62 lead. The Fever cruised in the fourth.

Connecticut Sun 74-85 Las Vegas Aces

A’ja Wilson had 26 points and 16 rebounds, Kelsey Plum added 18 points and Las Vegas beat Connecticut, their seventh win in the last nine meetings between the teams including the 2022 WNBA finals.

It was Wilson’s fourth game this season with 25-plus points and 15-plus rebounds — one shy of Tina Charles’ WNBA record of five, set in 2021. Wilson also reached 20-plus points for the 19th straight regular-season game.

Las Vegas has won two straight for the first time since May 29. Connecticut, which was off to its best 14-game start in franchise history, lost for the first time in six road contests this season.

Las Vegas’ double-digit lead was trimmed to seven points midway through the third quarter, but the Aces closed on a 9-3 run for a 63-50 lead. They opened the fourth on a 7-3 run to make it 70-53.

Alysha Clark added 11 points off the bench for Las Vegas. Kiah Stokes grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Aces dominate the glass 42-29.

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