Caitlin Clark tops Cameron Brink for career-high 30, but red-hot Sparks overwhelm Fever from long range

Caitlin Clark had the best offensive game of her young WNBA career, but it wasn’t enough for the Indiana Fever to overcome a series of turnovers and red-hot 3-pointers from the Los Angeles Sparks.

The Sparks shot a 14-of-23 (60.9 percent) effort from 3-point range to earn an 88-82 victory Monday to deny the Fever their second win of the season.

Clark finished with a career-high 30 points along with five rebounds and six assists. She shot 7 of 16 from the field and 3 of 10 from 3-point range while scoring 13 points from the free throw line. But their seven turnovers repeatedly cost the Fever as they tried to thwart the Sparks’ offensive onslaught.

Kia Nurse countered with 22 points while hitting 5 of 6 3-pointers to lead the Sparks offense. Aari McDonald added 21 points off the Los Angeles bench while hitting 3 of 5 3s. Cameron Brink, who was selected second in April’s draft behind Clark, had three points, three rebounds and two blocks, a putback compared to a sensational start to her WNBA career.

After trailing at halftime, 37-32, the Fever took control of the game, 43-37 with an 11-0 run to start the quarter. But the Sparks responded with an 11-0 run to end the quarter triggered by 3 points on three consecutive possessions.

The Sparks then took control with a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to open a 76-63 advantage. The Fever would respond with an 8-0 run to cut their deficit to 79-73, but they didn’t have enough to close the gap down the stretch.

The loss dropped the Fever to 1-7 as Clark continues to deal with growing pains eight games into his professional career. The scoring that was his trademark at Iowa came in fits and starts. This was accompanied by a high turnover rate.

Monday was the fourth time Clark scored more than 20 points with the Fever. It’s also the fourth time she’s had more than six turnovers. In eight games, she is averaging 17.3 points, 6.3 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 5.5 turnovers. She is shooting 38.1% from the field and 31.3% from 3-point range.

The win was the second of the season for Los Angeles, which improved to 2-4. It avenges an earlier loss to the Fever that marked the first victory of Clark’s career. Brink has been a bright spot during the Sparks’ rough start to the season. She is now averaging 9.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.2 steals and a game-high 3 blocks per game while shooting 52.8% from the field and 41.2% from 3-point range.

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