Caitlin Clark lands dagger for first career WNBA win after 0-5 start

Caitlin Clark went from looking like a work in progress Friday to, well, the Caitlin Clark everyone was expecting. The result: her first career WNBA win.

The No. 1 overall draft pick shook off a slow start to make the dagger 3-pointer in a 78-73 win for the Indiana Fever over the Los Angeles Sparks, breaking a season-opening five-game losing streak. Clark had only five points and was 0-of-7 from deep entering the final minutes of the game, which clearly didn't affect her decision-making.

First, Clark pulled up from way deep to stretch her team's lead to six points with two-and-half minutes left.

Then she supplied the true dagger, making a deep stepback to put L.A. away with 40 seconds left.

If you're judging Clark by the numbers she put up at Iowa, she didn't have a very good game overall. She had an inefficient 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting (2-of-9 from deep), but also contributed a team-high 10 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.

Of course, if you're judging her as a rookie who was immediately handled primary ball-handling duties on a team that went 13-27 last year less than two months after playing a full college season, you could call that an encouraging step for a player who still remains a league-altering prospect.

May 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA;   Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives past Los Angeles Sparks guard Lexie Brown (4) in the first half at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Caitlin Clark has her first WNBA win, thanks to her first WNBA dagger. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)

The Fever (1-5) trailed by 11 points at halftime, but quickly got back into it, thanks to a sloppy game by the Sparks, who committed 19 turnovers. Veteran Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever with 18 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter to power the win. Indiana's previous No. 1 pick, Aliyah Boston, was also strong with 17 points and six rebounds.

On the Sparks' side, No. 2 overall pick Cameron Brink had the best game of her young career with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Dearica Hamby had a huge game with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.