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Jul 2, 2024 12:00 am

Aces stand between Fever and successful road trip

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The Indiana Fever will try to finish above .500 on their five-game road trip when they face the host Las Vegas Aces on Tuesday night.

Indiana (8-12) had won four straight games before falling to the Chicago Sky on June 23 and the Seattle Storm on Thursday. However, the Fever improved to 2-2 on their trip with a 88-82 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, nearly getting a triple-double from rookie sensation Caitlin Clark.

Clark finished with 15 points despite shooting only 2-for-10 from 3-point range. She also had nine rebounds and 12 assists and was one of five Indiana players to score in double figures, a group that also included NaLyssa Smith (12 points, 15 boards).

Aliyah Boston led the Fever with 17 points.

Indiana has sported a balanced offensive attack, featuring four players averaging at least 11.8 points per game. Kelsey Mitchell (16.3 ppg) leads the way, with Clark (16.2), Boston (13.1) and Smith (11.8) following close behind.

Clark has been a big reason why so many of her teammates have been able to get in on the action. She ranked third in the WNBA through the weekend with 6.9 assists per game and has averaged 10.7 over her past three contests.

“You just have to be ready,” Boston said of playing off the ball with Clark. “When she’s getting blitzed as much as she does, she’ll find a way to (make) the passes.”

Clark also was among those tied for third through Sunday in 3-point makes per game at 2.8. Also in that group was Las Vegas guard Kelsey Plum, who had made at least two triples in every game this season until going 0-for-4 from deep on Saturday in the Aces’ 88-77 road victory over the Washington Mystics.

Even with Plum struggling from long range and league-leading scorer A’ja Wilson (26.9 ppg) posting only 11 points, the two-time defending champion Aces (10-6) still managed to extend their winning streak to four games.

The streak coincides with guard Chelsea Gray’s return to the lineup. Gray had been sidelined by a foot injury that she sustained in last year’s WNBA Finals. She had a season-high 22 points against Washington on Saturday.

“I feel good, getting my wind back, able to put long stretches together,” Gray said. “It’s been a process, mentally and physically, to just be in the moment.”

Jackie Young finished with a team-high 26 points in the win over the Mystics.

Tuesday marks the second meeting of the season between the teams. The Aces beat the Fever 99-80 on May 25 in Las Vegas.

–Field Level Media

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