June 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Kaitlyn Clarke eclipses Cameron Brink for career-high 30, but red-hot Sparks overshadows Fifer from long distance

Kaitlyn Clarke eclipses Cameron Brink for career-high 30, but red-hot Sparks overshadows Fifer from long distance

Caitlin Clark had the best offensive game of her young WNBA career, but it wasn’t enough for Indiana to overcome a flurry of turnovers and three-point shots by the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sparks rode a 14-of-23 (60.9%) effort from 3-point range to an 88-82 win on Monday to deny the Fever their second win of the season.

Clark finished his career with 30 points, along with five rebounds and six assists. She shot 7 of 16 from the field and 3 of 10 from 3-point range while scoring 13 points from the free throw line. But its seven turnovers repeatedly cost the Fever as they attempted to thwart the Sparks’ offensive attack.

Kia Nurse responded with 22 points while hitting 5 of 6 3-pointers to lead the Sparks offense. Ari McDonald added 21 points off the bench for Los Angeles while hitting 3 of 5 3s. Cameron Brink, who was selected second in April’s draft behind Clark, recorded three points, three rebounds and two blocks in a step back from the exciting start to her WNBA career.

After trailing 37-32 at halftime, the Fever took control of the game 43-37 on an 11-0 run early in the quarter. But the Sparks responded with an 11-0 run to end the quarter with 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions.

The Sparks then took control with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to open up a 76-63 advantage. The Fever would answer with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 79-73, but they didn’t have enough to close the gap down the stretch.

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The loss dropped the Fever to 1-7 as Clark continues to experience growing pains eight games into her professional career. The scoring that was her trademark in Iowa has come in full swing. It was accompanied by a high turnover rate.

Monday was the fourth time Clark has scored more than 20 points with the Fever. It is also the fourth time she has committed more than six turnovers. Through eight games, she averaged 17.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 5.5 turnovers. She shoots 38.1% from the field and 31.3% from 3-point range.

The win was the second this season for Los Angeles, which improved to 2-4. He is avenging a previous loss to the Fever which was the first win of Clarke’s career. Brink has been a bright spot in a difficult start to the Sparks’ season. She is now averaging a league-high 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 3 blocks per game while shooting 52.8% from the field and 41.2% from 3-point range.