Caitlin Clark finally gets first WNBA win after pair of clutch 3s in front of star-studded L.A. crowd

Caitlin Clark was in unfamiliar territory to start off her WNBA career, as her Indiana Fever lost its first five-straight games.

For context, Clark lost just five games in the entire 2023-24 college season with the Iowa Hawkeyes (they went 34-5).

The Fever will have to win 33 straight games to match that (this would have to stretch into the league’s playoffs, and Iowa’s record includes postseason games), but at least now, their skid is over, and much of it is because of Clark.

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Clark hit two clutch threes, including one with less than a minute to go, to help Indiana take down the Sparks in Los Angeles, 78-73, in front of a crowd of 19,103 at Crypto.com Arena.

Indy trailed by as many as 11, but after losing by just three entering the final quarter, they started the fourth on a 16-6 run to take a six-point lead.

L.A. then cut their deficit to three, but with 2:27 left, Clark drilled a three from 33 feet out, her first of the night. A giddy Clark high-fived actor and Iowa native Ashton Kutcher, who was sitting courtside with his wife, Mila Kunis, and their children.

The Sparks then made it a two-point game, but Clark proved why she was the No. 1 pick with a stepback crossover three from the top of the key, drilling it with 40.7 seconds left, which proved to be the dagger.

Afterward, she let out a Michael Jordan-type shrug.

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“The first one feels really good,” said Clark, who was two assists shy of a triple-double (11 points, career-high 10 rebounds).

She had missed her first seven three-point attempts, but she picked a good time to make the other two.

“I was due, like they had to go in,” said Clark. “I had missed so many throughout the game.”

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The game featured the youth and future of the WNBA, with No. 1 draft pick Clark playing against No. 2 pick Cameron Brink and fourth selection Rickea Jackson of the Sparks. Brink had 15 points and nine rebounds and Jackson added a career-high 16 points off the bench for the Sparks (1-3). Dearica Hamby had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Before the game, Clark dismissed any notion that she gets more attention than anyone else in the league, perhaps unfairly. Well, she may want to rethink that.

Jason Sudeikis, Rosie O’Donnell, Kathy Griffin, DeMar DeRozan of the Chicago Bulls, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, USC star JuJu Watkins along with teammate Rayah Marshall and coach Lindsay Gottlieb were among the sellout home crowd for the Sparks’ first game at Crypto.com Arena this season. The Sparks played their first two home games in Long Beach, but with Clark and the Fever in town, the game was moved to downtown Los Angeles.

“The crowd was absolutely amazing, especially there at the end,” Clark said. “They were into it, they were invested.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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