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Nurse helps spur second half rally to lead Sparks past Clark, Fever


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kia Nurse scored 22 points and Aari McDonald added a season-high 21 points to rally the Los Angeles Sparks to an 88-82 victory over the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night, handing Caitlin Clark her third straight home loss.

Indiana earned its only victory of the season last weekend at Los Angeles, but neither Clark nor her teammates could recreate that finish.

Clark finished with a season-best 30 points six assists, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals. She also made three 3-pointers. Kelsey Mitchell had 15 points and Aliyah Boston fought through foul trouble to add 17 points and six rebounds for the Fever in front of a near sellout crowd of 16,013.

The game featured the top two picks in last month's WNBA draft, Clark and forward Cameron Brink, and the league's only one-win teams. Brink finished with three points, three rebounds and two assists.

Dearica Hamby had 17 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. McDonald also had four assists.

Los Angeles (2-4) swung the game with a decisive 28-8 run that turned a 55-48 third-quarter deficit into a 76-63 lead in the fourth quarter. Again, the Fever (1-7) never recovered.

At times, it was downright ugly. While the Fever shot just 38.2% from the field, the Sparks committed 19 turnovers while making a season-best 14 3s.

And yet Clark's presence and play created a wide range of emotions at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Fans leapt to their feet when she made a 3-pointer from the right wing just 66 seconds into the game. She wowed fans with nifty passes, crafty steals and even two first-half blocks.

She made Fever fans wince with three first-half turnovers and when a frustrated Clark' drew a technical foul with 2.7 seconds left in the first quarter, coach Christie Sides even pulled her star rookie toward the free-throw line for a discussion between quarters.

But it was only good enough to get the Fever within 37-32 at halftime.

Then, with former Colts star T.Y. Hilton, Pacers players Tyrese Haliburton, Bennedict Mathurin and Andrew Nembhard and current NFL players Shaquille Leonard and Nick Cross watching courtside, Clark & Co. turned the corner in the second half.

They opened the third quarter on an 11-0 run but surrendered the lead when the Sparks closed the quarter with three straight 3s and a breakaway layup to take a 59-55 lead during the decisive run.


Sparks: Visit Chicago on Thursday, the second stop on a three-game road trip.

Fever: Hosts Seattle on Thursday in their second straight home game.