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Jun 7, 2024 7:57 am

Caitlin Clark, Fever return to court to face winless Mystics

Caitlin Clark

Rookie Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever have completed a much-needed four-day break, and it remains to be seen whether the Fever are refreshed when they visit the Washington Mystics on Friday night in a Commissioner’s Cup battle between the two worst teams in the WNBA.

Indiana (2-9) certainly will be much more rested than Washington (0-10), which fell 79-71 at home to the Chicago Sky on Thursday night. The start is the worst in Mystics’ history.

Meanwhile, the Fever opened the season with a jam-packed schedule of 11 games in 20 days. So the time off this week felt like a mini-vacation.

“Hopefully, we’ll get our legs under us a little bit more, make a few more shots,” Clark told reporters. “We probably haven’t shot it as well as we would have liked. But I think overall, just our chemistry and how we’re working together will get better.”

Indiana lost its first five games of the Clark era before defeating the host Los Angeles Sparks 78-73 on May 24. Three more losses ensued before the Fever posted a 71-70 home win over the Sky last Saturday.

The following day, the New York Liberty clobbered Indiana 104-68. It was the second time the Liberty beat the Fever by 36 points this season.

Clark had her worst game as a professional Sunday as she scored three points on 1-of-10 shooting. The former Iowa star is averaging 15.6 points, 6.4 assists and 5.1 rebounds but is shooting just 35.7 percent from the field, including 29.7 percent from 3-point range while playing under an intense microscope.

“She’s a human and I think she deserves to give herself some grace, and I think a lot of people around this world should, too,” Indiana guard Kelsey Mitchell said.

Washington has an impressive rookie in No. 6 overall pick Aaliyah Edwards, and the former UConn star registered career bests of 23 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots in Thursday’s loss to Chicago. Edwards was 10-of-12 shooting.

Teammate Shatori Walker-Kimbrough said afterward that people need to pay more attention to Edwards.

“When everyone’s talking about the rookie class, don’t forget her name,” Walker-Kimbrough said after the game against the Sky. “She made a statement today. She makes a statement every day. She comes in, she works hard, she puts her head down and works.”

The Mystics again will be without guard Brittney Sykes (left ankle) and forward Shakira Austin (left hip). Sykes was injured in Washington’s second game of the season. Austin has been limited all season.

Indiana is 1-1 in Commissioner’s Cup play, the Mystics are 0-2.

–Field Level Media

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