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Caitlin Clark finishes with 20 points as Fever falls to Sun

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By Doug Feinberg

Caitlin Clark struggled early in her WNBA debut before finishing with 20 points and 10 turnovers as the Indiana Fever fell 92-71 to the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night.

Alyssa Thomas led the Sun with 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, recording the 12th triple-double of her career. DeWanna Bonner added 20 points and DiJonai Carrington had 16. Carrington was also a big reason for Clark’s early offensive struggles, chasing down the guard.

“Disappointed and no one likes to lose, that’s the way it is,” Clark said. “You can’t beat yourself too much over one match.”

The NCAA’s all-time scoring leader in Division I, who finished the game 5 for 15 from the field, went scoreless in the first quarter. She missed her first four shots before finally getting on the board midway through the second period.

Clark stole the ball around the foul line and drove the length of the court before putting the ball in. She later added two free throws and hit a three-pointer with 29.9 seconds left in the first half to end the first 20 minutes with seven points. , hitting two of her seven shot attempts. The Fever trailed 49-39 at halftime.

The Fever pulled within 63-57 late in the third quarter on two free throws from Clark, but couldn’t get closer the rest of the way.

Clark did start to warm up from the field, hitting four three-pointers, including one from long range.

“Caitlin was able to give her some looks and take them down. our distance wasn’t great,” Indiana coach Christie Sides said. “Connecticut came in and punched us in the mouth tonight. We’ll watch a lot of videos in the gym tomorrow trying to figure out how not to spin the ball 25 times.”

Clark broke the all-time WNBA record for turnovers in a debut game held by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke when she had nine.

RISING HIGHER

Bonner moved to fifth on the WNBA career scoring list, ahead of former Phoenix Mercury teammate Candice Dupree. who finished her career with 6,895 points. Bonner passed Dupree on a layup midway through the third quarter.

“To do it here tonight with this team, this group and this crowd made it even more special,” Bonner said. “It was huge and I can check that goal off my list. being in this league is hard, staying in this league is harder. To be part of that list is great. pat myself on the back for that.”

Bonner, who now has 6,901 points, raised her hands to the crowd after a timeout to recognize the achievement.

RETURN OF BRIONNA

Brionna Jones played for the first time since tearing her right Achilles tendon last June. The Sun’s All-Star center had eight points in just under 20 minutes of play.

“We definitely missed her and it put a smile on my face to see her there again,” Connecticut coach Stephanie White said.

NEXT ONE:

Fever: Return to Indiana to play New York in the team’s home opener on Thursday

Sun: Hosts Washington on Friday.