Caitlin Clark scores 23 in Fever win over Sky, Angel Reese disputes flagrant foul call

"I guess some people got a special whistle," Reese said after the game

The rivalry that WNBA fans have been hoping to see between Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese developed further Sunday afternoon as the Indiana Fever defeated the Chicago Sky, 91-83, in a fiercely contested matchup.

Clark scored 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor, adding eight rebounds and nine assists. She started off hot for the Fever, making her first three shots and scoring seven points in the first quarter. That matched her entire scoring total from Thursday’s win over the Atlanta Dream.

Reese was called for a flagrant foul upon review after hitting Clark in the head on a drive to the basket. That contributed to foul trouble that made Reese virtually a non-factor in the second half.

After the game, Reese took issue with the foul being called flagrant, saying it was a "basketball play" in which she was trying to block Clark's shot.

"Basketball play, I can't control the refs," she said to reporters. "They affected the game, obviously, a lot tonight."

"I'm always going for the ball. But y'all are going to play that clip, what, 20 times before Monday?" Reese added.

The Sky rookie went on to imply that she and her teammates were being treated differently by Sunday's officiating crew.

"I think we went up strong a lot of times and we didn't get a lot of calls," Reese said. "Going back and looking at the film, I saw a lot of calls that weren't made. I guess some people got a special whistle."

When asked about Reese's foul, Clark agreed that she was making a play on the ball and chose to focus on the two free throws she had to shoot.

"It's just a part of basketball," she said. "It is what it is. Just trying to make a play on the ball and get the block. It happens."

Reese had four fouls by the third quarter, stalling what was developing as a good game for Reese, who led the Sky with nine points at halftime. She finished with 11 points, a team-high 13 rebounds and five assists.

Marina Mabrey led Chicago with 22 points, while Chennedy Carter followed with 18 and Dana Evans finished with 12. Kamilla Cardoso scored 10 and grabbed 10 boards, initially helping the Sky to assert their frontcourt advantage over Indiana.

However, Aliyah Boston and NaLyssa Smith took control in the second half. Boston, especially, worked a good two-player game with Clark as the game progressed, besting former South Carolina teammate Cardoso in their individual matchup. Boston finished with 19 points, five blocks and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Fever, while Smith added 15 with seven rebounds.

Kelsey Mitchell was a major factor at the end for Indiana in the second half as Clark and Boston drew more defensive attention. She tallied 17 points for the game. And Katie Lou Samuelson shot 3-for-4 from 3-point range, giving her nine points. The Fever also defeated the Sky, 71-70, on June 1.

Sunday's loss to the Fever was the Sky's fourth consecutive defeat, dropping them to 4–9 on the season, now a game behind Indiana (5–10) in the Eastern Conference. After Friday's loss to the Washington Mystics, Witherspoon was asked if she was considering a change to the starting lineup but said she wasn't thinking about that and eventually walked out of her news conference.

However, a new lineup did take the floor on Sunday with Carter and Lindsay Allen taking over for Evans and Diamond DeShields. The change seemed to suit Carter, but Allen only scored two points.

Here's how Sunday afternoon's matchup unfolded:

  • Kelsey Mitchell ices a 91–83 win for the Fever, making her second free throw.

  • Aliyah Boston beats the shot clock in the paint to give Indiana an 86–81 lead.

  • Caitlin Clark with a big 3 to give the Fever an 84–77 lead wth 3 minutes remaining.

  • Angel Reese has been limited by foul trouble in the second half. Sky coach Teresa Witherspoon putting her back in the game with five personals as the Fever build a five-point lead.

  • Caitlin Clark finding her rhythm in the third quarter. She now leads the Fever with 18 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

  • Angel Reese picked up three fouls in the third quarter, her latest from hand-checking Caitlin Clark on the wing. She's going to the bench with 4 personals in the game.

  • Fever doing a better job of getting the ball to Aliyah Boston in the post. Coming off 27 points last Thursday versus the Dream, she now has 13 in the third quarter.

  • Marina Mabrey starting the second half hot for the Sky with 10 points in the third quarter. She has 18 for the game thus far.

  • Katie Lou Samuelson hits a three-pointer – her third of the game – with 1.1 seconds left to give the Fever a 47–43 lead at halftime.

    Samuelson and Caitlin Clark each have nine points, while Kelsey Mitchell leads Indiana with 10.

    Chicago's leading scorer at the half is Angel Reese with nine.

  • Angel Reese draws a foul on Indiana's NaLyssa Smith, who goes to the bench with three personals.

    Sky dominating the boards with Kamila Cardoso grabbing 10 and Reese getting 7.

  • Fever coach Christie Sides with a questionable challenge on a blocking foul by Katie Lou Samuelson, apparently arguing that Chicago's Isabelle Harrison committed an offensive foul (or traveled). Indiana loses the challenge and has no more for the first half.

  • Some confusion for the Fever on their final possession of the first quarter. Shot clock ran out as they tried to decide who would shoot.

    Sky leads 26–23 after 1.

  • Dana Evans and Caitlin Clark exchange words after tangling up. Chennedy Carter steps in.

  • Caitlin Clark off to a good start, 7 points on 3-for-3 shooting.

  • Former South Carolina teammates Aliyah Boston and Kamila Cardoso could be the matchup to watch today.

  • Caitlin Clark's Olympic omission

  • WNBA early award races: Alyssa Thomas, Caitlin Clark in line for some hardware

    Rookie of the Year

    Caitlin Clark, Fever

    Clark is having a standout start to her WNBA career despite facing the league’s best teams early and drawing their best defensive efforts. It’s still her award to lose, though Angel Reese (12.4 ppg, 9.6 rpg) and Cameron Brink (2.9 bpg) have also had strong starts. Kamilla Cardoso’s debut was delayed due to injury, but she could enter this conversation as well.

    Clark is averaging 15.6 points (ranking 17th all time for rookies) and is one of two rookies to average at least 10 points, four rebounds and four assists per game. Her six assists per game rank fourth in the league, and she’s tasked with more than any other rookie in this class as a lead ball-handler and the biggest name to enter the league in its history.

  • Caitlin Clark responds to bigotry in WNBA audience: 'People should not be using my name to push those agendas'

    As discourse around Indiana Fever rookie and women's basketball phenom Caitlin Clark grows louder, some of the discussion has taken an uglier turn into racism and misogyny directed at the rest of the WNBA.

    On Thursday, Clark refuted that language, saying that she does not want her name used in that context.

    "Everybody in our world deserves the same amount of respect. The women in our league deserve the same amount of respect," Clark said in response to a question from The Athletic's James Boyd. "People should not be using my name to push those agendas."

    Read the full story here.