Liberty-Fever (Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever shoots a three point basket) [1296x729]
Liberty-Fever (Caitlin Clark #22 of the Indiana Fever shoots a three point basket) [1296x729] (Credit: Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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Fever guard Caitlin Clark recorded the first triple-double by a rookie in WNBA history on Saturday in Indiana's 83-78 victory over the first-place New York Liberty in Indianapolis. 

Clark pulled down her 10th rebound at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter, giving her the triple-double. She finished the game with 19 points, a season-high-tying 13 assists and 12 rebounds.

Clark, who wears No. 22, reached the triple-double in the 22nd game of her WNBA career. It was also the first triple-double in Fever history, going back to the launch of the franchise in 2000. Clark had 17 triple-doubles in her college career at Iowa -- and the Hawkeyes won all those games.

"Obviously, it's cool," Clark said of the triple-double. "My teammates have been finishing the ball [at a] really, really high rate. My assist numbers, that's because of them."

Clark, though, was more excited about the fact that the Fever beat the Liberty, ending the franchise's nine-game losing streak to New York. Clark and the Fever had lost three times to the Liberty earlier this season, two of them in 36-point blowouts.

 

"I'm just happy we won," Clark said. "I take a lot of pride in being able to do a lot of different things for this team. I think we're really good when I can get the ball off the glass and just go in transition and find my teammates and set them up."

The Fever rallied from a deficit of 11 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Liberty 28-12 over the last 8:10 of the game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the comeback tied as the WNBA's second-largest in the fourth quarter against the team with the league's best record. The Liberty entered Saturday 17-3.

Clark's triple-double was also the first in league history against the team with the best record at that time. The No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, Clark had come close to a triple-double before this season, including missing by one rebound in the Fever's victory at Phoenix on June 30.

"We're definitely playing good basketball ... we're playing together better," Clark said. "But I think the biggest difference for us has been when teams make runs, we don't crumble. We always believe we're in the games."

The Fever, 9-13, held New York to 10 of 42 shooting from behind the arc (23.8%). Indiana wasn't much better from long range (7 of 24, 29.2%) but made 12 of 14 free throws and outrebounded New York 41-31.

NaLyssa Smith had a double-double for Indiana (12 points, 11 rebounds), Aliyah Boston had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Kelsey Mitchell 14 points.

The Fever held former MVPs Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones to a combined 20 points, as Sabrina Ionescu led New York with 22 points.

Clark and Chicago forward Angel Reese, who tied the WNBA's consecutive double-double record in Friday's Sky victory at Seattle, have made the league's Rookie of the Year Award a great race between the two most high-profile rookies. They will both be on Team WNBA in the All-Star Game on July 20 facing Team USA.