Fever hold off Sky 71-70 for first home victory

Kelsey Mitchell scored 18 points and the Indiana Fever escaped with their second win and first home victory of the Caitlin Clark era, beating the Chicago Sky 71-70 on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis.

It was the first professional meeting between college rivals Clark and Angel Reese.

Clark tallied 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists in 36 minutes. She made her first two 3-pointers before missing her final seven attempts. Reese scored eight points on 2-of-9 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds for Chicago.

The Fever (2-8) also got 17 points and nine boards from NaLyssa Smith as they won the first Commissioner’s Cup game of the season. Aliyah Boston converted a crucial three-point play down the stretch on her way to 10 points, eight boards and four blocks. Kristy Wallace also scored 10.

Chennedy Carter had a game-high 19 points with six assists off the bench for Chicago (3-4). Marina Mabrey added 15 points and nine rebounds, but with a chance to tie the game with 6.1 seconds left, she missed the first of two free throws.

After Mabrey made the second, the Fever were able to play keep-away and Clark chucked the ball in the air to run the final second off the clock.

Dana Evans scored 12 for the Sky, and No. 3 overall draft pick Kamilla Cardoso tallied 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and six boards in her WNBA debut. Cardoso missed the Sky’s first six games due to a shoulder injury.

In the fourth quarter, Clark took a defensive rebound and passed ahead to Erica Wheeler, who got it to Mitchell for the hoop and a foul for a 64-57 Indiana lead. Clark later went one-on-one in the post to score and make it a 68-59 game with 3:36 to play.

The Sky responded with eight straight points. Carter poked away a pass from Clark and sped away for a layup, and on Chicago’s next play, Carter passed to Cardoso for a layup to cut it to 68-67.

The Fever answered when Boston beat Cardoso — her former teammate at South Carolina — down low for a crucial bucket and foul to make it 71-67 before the final sequence.

Clark’s second 3-pointer opened up a 16-10 Fever lead midway through the first quarter. Cardoso checked in late in the period, and her first career points on a layup in the final minute cut Indiana’s lead to 17-14 after one.

The Sky moved ahead 31-26 before Mitchell scored her first five points of the day on a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup to tie the game. That started a 9-0 Indiana run, but Reese’s basket in the final minute cut the Fever’s lead to 35-33 at halftime.

Smith led all scorers at the break with 11.

–Field Level Media