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Jun 30, 2024 5:53 pm

Fever explode for 27-2 run, then hold off Mercury

Fever, Mercury

Kelsey Mitchell scored all 16 of her points in the second half and made multiple clutch shots for the Indiana Fever, who went on a 27-2 run in the third quarter before holding off the host Phoenix Mercury 88-82 on Sunday.

Caitlin Clark finished with 15 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and six turnovers. She was one rebound shy of recording the first triple-double by a rookie in WNBA history.

Aliyah Boston led the Fever (8-12) with 17 points and NaLyssa Smith paired 12 points with 15 rebounds. Temi Fagbenle scored 10 points off the bench.

Brittney Griner had a game-high 24 points for the Mercury (9-9). Diana Taurasi added 19 and Natasha Cloud had 15 points, seven assists and four steals.

Down by three to begin the fourth quarter, Phoenix went on an 8-0 run ignited by Sophie Cunningham’s wide-open corner 3 with 5:58 to go. Indiana trailed by seven, but Katie Lou Samuelson and Boston hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Samuelson drew a flagrant foul, making both free throws to bring the Fever within 78-77.

Clark tied the game by making 1 of 2 free throws before Cloud made two to put the Mercury back ahead. Mitchell then banked in a long 2-pointer and drew a foul, converting the and-one as Indiana regained the lead.

After the Fever fell behind 82-81, Mitchell hit the go-ahead 19-footer with 36.1 seconds left, and Clark added two foul shots. Griner received an inbounds pass and tried to dribble, but Cloud ran in and accidentally booted it out of bounds, sealing the outcome.

Indiana trailed 49-38 at halftime and 53-38 early in the third before turning the tables. Clark hit a running triple from the center-court logo, then fed Kristy Wallace for a layup on the next possession to pull the Fever within 55-50 and force a Phoenix timeout.

Mitchell drained a 3-pointer for Indiana’s first lead at 57-55 with 4:05 to go in the quarter. She hit another trey on the Fever’s next possession.

After Smith added a 3, Clark threw an off-balance pass in the lane to Fagbenle, whose layup put Indiana ahead 65-55. Cloud then sank a free throw to finally end a Mercury scoring drought that lasted nearly four minutes.

–Field Level Media

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