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WNBA: Caitlin Clark scores 20 points in debut



Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) scores her first career basket against the Connecticut Sun on May 14, 2024. (Jessica Hill/AP Photo)

The Caitlin Clark period within the WNBA has formally begun, though it received off to a sluggish begin.

Clark went scoreless for almost the primary quarter-hour, earlier than getting extra comfy and ending with 20 factors within the Indiana Fever’s 92-71 loss to the Connecticut Solar on Tuesday evening.

She missed her first 4 photographs earlier than lastly getting on the board halfway by the second interval.

Caitlin Clark’s first profession factors within the @WNBA 🤩

— Indiana Fever (@IndianaFever)
May 15, 2024“/>

The NCAA’s all-time Division I scoring chief stole the ball across the foul line and drove the size of the court docket earlier than laying the ball in. Clark had stated earlier than the sport that she thought her first basket would come on a layup because it was a “high-percentage” shot.

Clark later added two free throws and hit a 3-pointer with 29.9 seconds left within the first half to complete the opening 20 minutes with seven factors, hitting two of her seven shot makes an attempt.

She carried a few of that momentum into the third quarter when she scored 5 of her factors to try to rally the Fever, however it simply wasn’t sufficient.

Earlier than her first basket, Clark struggled and received into early foul bother. Her first shot was a drive to the basket that bounced onerous off the glass and into Aliyah Boston’s arms for a putback. Clark missed a runner within the lane, after which her 3 from the left wing simply rimmed out.

She did have an help on one basket and threw a nifty behind-the-back cross to teammate Boston, however final season’s Rookie of the Yr was known as for a touring violation.

In the meantime, Clark was known as for 2 fouls on the defensive finish. The second drew loud boos from the sellout crowd. The group gave the No. 1 choose within the draft a loud ovation when she was launched in pregame introduction.

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives on Atlanta Dream guard Allisha Grey (15) throughout a preseason WNBA basketball recreation. (Darron Cummings/AP Photograph)

Earlier than the sport, Clark admitted she was anticipating her WNBA debut. It was certainly one of 4 video games on the league’s opening evening to tip-off the WNBA’s twenty eighth season. New York, which was runner-up within the WNBA Finals, visited Washington to begin the night.

She sat round a lot of the day on the resort and needed to wait to get on the court docket when her staff arrived almost 2:30 hours earlier than tipoff.“I simply wish to get on the market and play,” she stated. “I received loads of time to sit down and give it some thought. Nonetheless that is thrilling. That is enjoyable. … There’s only a totally different buzz within the air.”

Even earlier than taking part in a WNBA recreation, Clark has left her mark within the professionals. The league’s draft had document viewership, and her No. 22 Indiana Fever jerseys have been flying off the cabinets.

Three WNBA groups have already moved their video games to larger arenas to maintain up with the demand for tickets to observe her play. Her debut in Connecticut is bought out — the primary sellout for the Solar in a season opener since they performed their inaugural recreation at Mohegan Solar Area in 2003 after shifting from Orlando.

There’s additionally an enormous media turnout with almost four-times the variety of credentials issued for this recreation then a traditional Solar contest.

Clark and her teammates took the court docket in a morning shootaround on the empty enviornment. She stated afterward that she deliberate to observe extra movie throughout the day in her resort room.

Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark poses for a photograph throughout WNBA basketball media day. (Darron Cummings/AP Photograph)

“I do not really feel nervous or actually anxious,” she stated. “I believe I am simply excited greater than something and simply embracing it.”

Clark stated she’s not going to get too caught up on her play in her first recreation.

“If one thing is not excellent, my life’s not going to finish,” she stated. “If, you already know, we lose the sport tonight, my life’s not going to finish. I am simply going to be taught from it and are available again on Thursday and attempt to assist us win.”

This would be the second sold-out crowd Clark will play in entrance of in her extraordinarily younger WNBA profession. Her preseason recreation in Dallas was bought out, too. Greater than 13,000 followers additionally turned up for her solely house preseason recreation.

Clark’s house debut can be Thursday, when the Fever host the New York Liberty. 

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