Ariel Atkins leads Washington Mystics to defeat Indian Fever 89-84

Basketball: Ariel Atkins scored 26 points, including a clutch jumper in the last minute, as the Washington Mystics defeated the Indiana Fever 89-84 on Wednesday.

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Varun Sarwate
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Ariel Atkins scored 26 points, including a clutch jumper in the last minute, as the Washington Mystics defeated the Indiana Fever 89-84 on Wednesday, spoiling Caitlin Clark's 29-point outburst. After three quarters, Washington led 76-55 until Indiana rallied behind Clark's 15 points in the fourth quarter. 

Caitlin Clark became the first WNBA player to have 29 points, 13 assists, five rebounds, five three-pointers, five steals, and three blocks in a single game. After Clark concluded a 14-0 run with a free throw with 1:05 remaining, Atkins responded with an off-balance shot in the lane. 

With 29 points and 13 assists, the rookie for the Fever recorded her fourth straight double-double in points and assists. She contributed three blocks, five steals, and five rebounds. She made five turnovers as well. No player in an NBA or WNBA game had accomplished those feats since the 1973–74 campaign.

With 20.3 seconds remaining, Clark converted two more free throws, and a jump ball was called. When Aliyah Boston, an Indiana forward, tapped it back, Atkins grabbed it and went down before a timeout was called with 16.9.

Washington Mystics holds Indiana Fever

With 16.2 seconds remaining, Julie Vanloo grabbed an inbounds pass and converted two free throws to give her team a five-point advantage. Vanloo and Stefanie Dolson each scored 13 points to lead Washington (6-17). Myisha Hines-Allen scored ten points, and Aaliyah Edwards contributed twelve. Brittney Sykes, Karlie Samuelson, and Shakira Austin were not with the Mystics.

For Indiana (9–14), Kelsey Mitchell scored 15 points, while NaLyssa Smith added 11. In her first game of the season, Lexie Hull ended with five points in 20 minutes. In the end, Washington Mystics managed to hold on, but the Fever almost made a comeback in this one. After defeating Liberty, the top team in the WNBA, the Fever suffered a setback against one of the poorest teams in the league.

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