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Live updates: Caitlin Clark struggling vs. Sun in WNBA debut

In Sports
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark‘s jump from Iowa to the WNBA begins in earnest tonight as the generational superstar rookie, both on and off the court, makes her WNBA regular season debut for the Indiana Fever. In Indiana’s pair of preseason games, Clark averaged 16.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. The Fever are coming off a 13-27 season but have one of the top young duos in the WNBA with 2023 No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston — who is the reigning Rookie of the Year and was a 2023 All-Star — paired with Clark.

The Sun are coming off a season in which they advanced to the WNBA semifinals, where they fell in four games to the New York Liberty, who lost to the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA Finals. Veterans DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas, who both made the All-Star Game last season, lead the way for Connecticut, which has title aspirations after coming up short in 2024.

The Fever and Sun tip off at 7 p.m. ET and you can watch the game on ESPN2 or stream it on ESPN+ or Disney+. Stay with Yahoo Sports for live updates throughout the night as Caitlin Clark makes her WNBA regular season debut for the Indiana Fever.

Live21 updates

  • There are a ton of new fans out there (WNBA diehards, look away!) so a quick reminder, Alyssa Thomas is playing with two torn labrums. Hence why she shoots the way she does. She was a triple-double machine last year and averaged nearly a triple-double en route to second in MVP voting. She’s near her first trip-doub of the season heading into the final 10 minutes with eight points, 10 assists and six rebounds. That line was a rarity in the WNBA until the last couple of seasons.

  • DeWanna Bonner’s layup moved her into fifth on the WNBA all-time scoring list over Candice Dupree (6,895). She comes out of the huddle to roaring applause from the home crowd during the arena’s announcement and lifts her arms to accept them. Diana Taurasi is the league’s all-time leader with 10,108 going into tonight. The two won two titles in Phoenix together. Tina Thompson, Tamika Catchings and Tina Charles (active with Atlanta) stand between them.

  • Some veteran leadership shown by reigning Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston talking with Caitlin Clark the entire walk to the locker room at the half. Clark was just 2-for-7 with seven points and five turnovers in a rough first half.

  • The Indiana starting five is a young group. Clark’s a rookie, Boston is in her second year and Smith in her third. There’s also been a lot of hoopla on the franchise over the past month. We’ll see if they settle in a little here and play with pace, but avoid rushing.

  • There it is! Big cheers for Clark’s first 3 of her pro career from the left side where she broke the NCAA DI women’s all-time scoring record. She’s had a tough start against this veteran Sun group. Maybe getting that 3 out of the way will break some nerves (even though she said again today she doesn’t get nervous before games)

  • Clark scores first WNBA basket

    After starting the game 0-for-4, Caitlin Clark finally got on the board for the first time in her WNBA career in the middle of the second quarter with a driving layup down the right side of the lane.

  • Was really hoping to see Clark pull up and attempt a 3 over DeWanna Bonner’s wingspan. She came flying out of inbound pass to her spot. Instead, her first points are a driving layup that she foreshadowed with reporters about 90 minutes before tip.

    “Honestly, what I’ve thought about is, like, it’d be nice to get a layup as my first basket. Why not get a high percentage to start it off, right?”

  • Tough introduction to the WNBA’s best for Caitlin Clark. She fouled Alyssa Thomas twice in the opening minutes and rode the bench for most of the first quarter. Through one, she’s played 5:13 with one assist and one turnover. NaLyssa Smith (two fouls) and reserve forward Temi Fagbenle (three) are also in early trouble. Aliyah Boston draws her first in the opening seconds of the second quarter. The Sun are known being a physical, tough group and it’s proving problematic for the young Indiana squad early.

  • Clark now on the bench with two fouls at 4:51 of the first

  • Caitlin Clark 0-for-3 from the floor with one foul with 7:33 left in the first

  • For Connecticut: Brionna Jones makes her first start after an Achilles injury kept her out most of last season. Her last start was June 20, 2023.

  • For Indiana: Looks like Wheeler slots into point guard and Clark at shooting guard. Shooting guard Kelsey Mitchell, who will move into the starting lineup when she’s fully healthy and ready from an ankle injury, is available off the bench.

  • Greetings from Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, where we’re still about 30 minutes from tip-off. The Sun announced an official sell out on Monday with 8,910 tickets sold. Capacity is about 10,000. It’s the franchise’s first sold-out home opener since its inaugural game in here in 2003 after four seasons as the Orlando Miracle. Fans queued outside the arena doors before 5 p.m., many in No. 22 Clark T-shirts.

  • Caitlin Clark’s first regular season WNBA matchup is drawing lots of eyes from around the sports world, including from the world of sports betting, Over at BetMGM, some of the prop bets listed on the board for Clark’s debut game against the Connecticut Sun are:

    • Points 20.5: Over +100/Under -135

    • Rebounds 4.5: Over -120/Under -110

    • Assists: 6.5: Over -105/ Under -125

    • Three-pointers made 3.5: Over -135/Under +105

    While Clark’s record-breaking stats at Iowa may not immediately show up on her WNBA stat sheet, the No. 1 pick is expected to put up some numbers as she makes the transition to the pros.

  • Caitlin Clark isn’t the only No. 1 overall pick taking the floor tonight for the Fever. Aliyah Boston, who the fever took first overall in 2023, is coming off a Rookie of the Year campaign in which she also made the WNBA All-Star Game. The team is hopeful to build around the the winners of the last three Naismith Player of the Year awards in Indy.

  • This one is for the sneakerheads —

    While Caitlin Clark will have her own signature shoe as part of her eight-year, $28 million endorsement deal with Nike, she’s lacing up in her first regular season game with a pair of Nike Kobe Protro 6 in the now-iconic “Grinch” colorway that the late, great NBA icon Kobe Bryant debuted on Christmas Day in 2010. Clark often took the court in the Kobe 5 “Bruce Lee” colorway during her time at Iowa.

  • Caitlin Clark’s debut isn’t the only news of new happenings in the WNBA today, as the league announced its first expansion since 2008 with the Golden State Valkyries as a new team set to begin play in the W in the 2025 season.

  • Caitlin Clark is opening her WNBA career on the road tonight, at the Connecticut Sun, but that doesn’t mean preparations aren’t already for her home debut on Thursday night. With the Indiana Pacers-New York Knicks NBA playoff series not back in Indy until Friday (That series is tied 2-2, with Game 5 tonight at 8 p.m. ET in New York, by the way) the crew at Gainbridge Fieldhouse has already flipped the floor for the Fever’s home opener.

    Take a look:

  • Just two hours away from tipoff of Caitlin Clark’s WNBA regular season debut for the Indiana Fever and she’s talking about where she’s been as she turns her career page to the pros. Her Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder retired the day before Clark’s debut, and she was asked about her college coach before her first regular season game

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