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HomeSportsBasketballCaitlin Clark scores 20 in WNBA debut as Fever lose to Sun

Caitlin Clark scores 20 in WNBA debut as Fever lose to Sun

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DeWanna Bonner climbed the all-time scoring list with 20 points and the Connecticut Sun capitalized on Caitlin Clark’s mistake-prone WNBA debut to defeat the Indiana Fever 92-71 in the season opener Tuesday in Uncasville, Conn.

Clark, who was chosen with the No. 1 pick after a record-breaking college career, tallied a team-high 20 points and three assists but committed 10 turnovers and four fouls. She shot 5-for-15 from the floor, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range.

“Disappointed and nobody likes to lose, that’s how it is,” Clark said. “Can’t beat yourself up too much about one game.”

Clark’s miscues included six bad-pass turnovers and one traveling call. Connecticut scored 29 points off Indiana’s 25 total turnovers.

Indiana coach Christie Sides said, “Caitlin was able to get her some looks, able to knock them down. Our spacing was not great. Connecticut came in and punched us in the mouth tonight. We’ll be in the gym tomorrow watching a lot of video trying to figure out how not to turn the ball over 25 times.”

On a transition bucket in the third quarter, Bonner passed Candice Dupree for the fifth-most points in WNBA history and now has 6,901. Alyssa Thomas, who recorded a league-record six triple-doubles last season, picked up where she left off with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for Connecticut (1-0).

DiJonai Carrington and Tyasha Harris each added 16 points and Rachel Banham had 10 for the Sun.

NaLyssa Smith posted 13 points and nine rebounds for Indiana (0-1).

Clark connected with Aliyah Boston to tally an assist on the game’s opening possession. But the rookie also picked up two early fouls and sat for most of the final 4:51 of the period.

Harris made three 3-pointers in the first quarter to help the Sun build a 19-13 lead. Carrington poured in 14 points in the second quarter alone to add to that edge.

Clark’s first WNBA basket came on a driving layup midway through the second after an 0-for-4 start. Her first professional 3-pointer was a catch-and-shoot play from the left wing to cut the deficit to single digits with 30.1 seconds before halftime, but Connecticut eventually took a 49-39 edge to the locker room.

Clark hit a 29-foot triple and Erica Wheeler added five points in an 8-2 Fever spurt early in the third quarter to trim their deficit to 53-47. That’s as close as they would get, as Bonner and Thomas combined for the next six points.

Bonner’s three-point play at the 6:37 mark of the fourth quarter made it 75-59 Sun. Clark made her third 3 on the ensuing possession, but Harris answered with one for Connecticut and the Fever never threatened again.

–Field Level Media

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