Angel Reese 'lets game speak,' leads Sky past Caitlin Clark's Fever

Indian Fever guard Caitlin Clark totaled a franchise-record 13 assists in a loss to the Chicago Sky on Sunday in Chicago. File Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI
Indian Fever guard Caitlin Clark totaled a franchise-record 13 assists in a loss to the Chicago Sky on Sunday in Chicago. File Photo by Corey Sipkin/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- Angel Reese said she let her "game speak for itself" during a career-best 25-point, 16-rebound performance, leading the Chicago Sky to an 88-87 victory over Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever in Chicago.

The game drew a sellout crowd of more than 10,000 fans Sunday at Wintrust Arena. Many of those fans -- and viewers at home -- were drawn to the matchup because of the college-to-WNBA rivalry between Clark and Reese, two of the league's top rookies.


Clark and Reese both have downplayed the rivalry, despite rampant discourse swirling on social media about both players. The polarizing matchup triggered record-high ticket prices for the third meeting this season between the Fever and Sky.

"I just let my game speak for itself," Reese told reporters. "The most important thing for me is to win. I came to Chicago to build a winning culture. I have a coach here that believes in me, loves me. On and off the court, we have a great relationship. I have teammates that love me and appreciate me. That's all that matters. I have a family that loves me and appreciates me. Everybody that I know really, genuinely loves me. I have who I have.


"Outside really doesn't bother me. I just come out and play and let my performance speak for itself."

Clark totaled 17 points and a franchise-record 13 assists for the Fever. She also totaled six rebounds, four steals and five turnovers. The Fever guard, who leads all rookies in points and assists per game, praised Reese's effort in her postgame news conference.

"I thought she ran really well in transition," Clark said, when asked about Reese. "She got a couple And-1s in transition. Obviously, she played a really great game. I think they definitely knew to be physical with us. ... I thought she played a really great game."

The Sky outshot the Fever 50% to 46.4%. They also held a 38-25 edge in rebounding and 48-25 advantage in points in the paint. The Fever led by as many as 15 points, but were outscored 24-15 over the final 10 minutes of the setback.

WNBA legend Sheryl Swoopes, rappers Chance the Rapper and Lil Dirk and actor Jason Sudeikis were among the celebrities in attendance for the game.

"You know everybody's watching right now," Reese said of the increased attention on the WNBA this season. "I think this is one of the most important times right now. We've just continue to keep putting on. I think both teams did an amazing job of putting on a show. It was fun. I had a great time. I'm sure the other team had a great time.


"I'm just happy we won."

Sky guard Chennedy Carter chipped in 24 points and five assists in Sunday's victory. Rookie center Kamilla Cardoso totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds. Veteran guard Kelsey Mitchell scored a team-high 24 points for the Fever.

Clark made 5 of 11 shot attempts -- with five 3-pointers -- in the loss. Reese was 8 of 12 from the floor. The first-year rivals, who are the leading contenders for WNBA Rookie of the Year honors, both experienced increased production as of late.

Clark made just 35.7% of her shots and 29.7% of her 3-point attempts through her first 11 games this season. She averaged 15.6 points, 6.4 assists, 5.4 turnovers, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game, while the Fever went 2-9 during that span.

The rookie guard made 47.5% of her shots, including 44.4% of her 3-pointers, while averaging 17.2 points, seven assists, six rebounds, 5.8 turnovers and two steals per game over her last seven appearances, helping the Fever go 5-2 during their current stretch.

Reese made 35.3% of her shots and averaged 10.6 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals through her first seven games. The Sky went 3-4 during that span.


The Sky forward made 44.4% of her shots and averaged 15.5 points, 13.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.1 steals over her last eight games. The Sky are 3-5 during their current stretch, but won their last two.

Reese extended her rookie-record double-double streak to eight-consecutive games in Sunday's victory, which helped the Sky (6-9) overtake the Fever (7-11) for the No. 8 spot in the WNBA standings.

The Top 8 teams in those standings at the end of the season will make the playoffs.

The Sky will host the Las Vegas Aces (8-6) at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday in Chicago. The Fever will battle the Seattle Storm (10-6) at 10 p.m. Thursday in Seattle.

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