Kaitlyn Clark got the dagger to win her first career WNBA after an 0-5 start

Kaitlyn Clarke went from looking like a work in progress on Friday to looking like the Kaitlyn Clarke everyone was anticipating. The result: her first WNBA win.

The No. 1 draft pick shook off a slow start to pull off a 78-73 triple-A win over the Los Angeles Sparks, snapping a five-game losing streak in the season opener. Clarke had just five points and was 0 of 7 from her deep entry in the final minutes of the game, which clearly didn’t impact her decision-making.

First, Clark pulled in from deep to increase her team’s lead to six points with two and a half minutes remaining.

May 24, 2024;  Los Angeles, California, USA;  Indiana Fever goalie Kaitlyn Clark (22) drives past Los Angeles Sparks goalie Lexi Brown (4) in the first period at Crypto.com Arena.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Caitlin Clark earned her first WNBA win, thanks to her first WNBA dagger. (Jane Kamen Onsia – USA TODAY Sports)

Then she delivered the real dagger, making a deep move to put Los Angeles away with 40 seconds left.

If you judge Clark by her numbers at Iowa State, she didn’t have a good game overall. She had 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting (2-of-9 from deep), but also contributed a team-high 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.

Of course, if you judge her as a rookie who was immediately assigned starting ballhandling duties on a team that went 13-27 last year after less than two months of playing a full college season, you could call that an encouraging move for a player who remains a turnaround prospect. League.

The Fever (1-5) trailed by 11 points at halftime, but came back quickly thanks to a sloppy play by the Sparks, who committed 19 turnovers. Veteran Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever team with 18 points, including 13 points in the fourth quarter, to cement the victory. Former Indiana No. 1 pick, Aaliyah Boston, was also solid with 17 points and six rebounds.

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On the Sparks side, No. 2 overall seed Cameron Brink had the best game of her young career with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Derrica Hamby scored 18 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and provided seven assists.

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