Caitlin Clark held to just three points as Laney-Hamilton and Jones help Liberty rout Fever 104-68

Caitlin Clark had just one basket and three points in the worst game of her young pro career, and the New York Liberty routed the Indiana Fever 104-68 on Sunday night

NEW YORK (AP) — Caitlin Clark had just one basket and three points in the worst game of her young pro career, and the New York Liberty routed the Indiana Fever 104-68 on Sunday night.

“I think collectively as a team, we understand who kind of the head of the monster is on that team and we are trying to just make everything tough and difficult,” Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu said. “Obviously, they came off a back-to-back, so it’s a little bit tough for them as well. But she’ll figure it out. It’s not that big of a deal to have a game like that.”

Betnijah Laney-Hamilton scored 20 points and Jonquel Jones added 18 for the Liberty, who were nearing the end of the easy win when Clark left the game and Aliyah Boston departed a few minutes later after an awkward fall that injured her left ankle.

Clark shot 1 for 10 and had five assists. The No. 1 pick in the draft played the first few minutes of the fourth quarter before exiting, holding her left ear for a little bit as she left the court. She hurt it while getting bumped on a screen. Clark went to the locker room with Boston for a few minutes, but returned to the bench for the final 2 1/2 minutes of the game.

Clark was fine afterward.

Indiana coach Christie Sides didn’t have an update on the extent of Boston’s injury, but last season’s Rookie of the Year seemed to be OK walking around in front of the locker room.

The Fever have had a brutal stretch to the start the season with 11 games in the first 20 days, including playing New York three times now.

“Their legs were shot. I mean, that’s where everything stems from, your legs, when you shoot the basketball — especially for 3s," Sides said. “They're shot, they're gassed, so everything was a little short.”

Indiana was playing the second game of a back-to-back set. The Fever (2-9) beat Chicago on Saturday afternoon by one point.

The Liberty took advantage of the tired Fever, racing out to a 31-13 lead after one quarter. Laney-Hamilton and Breanna Stewart each had seven points in the opening 10 minutes as New York pushed the pace.

Clark was scoreless in the first quarter before starting off the second period with a logo 3-pointer. She was constantly hounded defensively by Laney-Hamilton and Kayla Thornton.

New York led 55-37 at the break. Indiana got within 12 early in the third quarter before the Liberty blew open the game.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 21 points to lead Indiana.

BRINGING IN FANS

Clark has been a huge draw at home and on the road this season. New York had 17,401 fans in attendance for the game.

UNSELFISH PLAY

All five Liberty starters had at least four assists as the team combined to have 30.

UP NEXT

Fever: Indiana finally gets time to rest as its next game is Friday in Washington.

Liberty: New York travels to Chicago for a rematch against the Sky, who handed the team its first loss of the season.

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AP WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball