Fever vs. Liberty score: Caitlin Clark, Indiana rally in fourth quarter to take down Breanna Stewart, New York (2024)

The Indiana Fever secured their most impressive win of the season on Saturday when they pulled off a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the league-leading New York Liberty, 83-78, on CBS. In the process, No. 1 overall pick Caitlin Clark became the first rookie in WNBA history and first player in Fever franchise history to record a triple-double.

With Clark leading the way, the Fever jumped out to an early double-digit lead. Slowly but surely, however, the Liberty worked their way back into the contest, and showed why they entered the game with a 17-3 record. By the fourth quarter, the Liberty had pushed their lead up to 11 points, and it seemed they would cruise to another win.

The Fever had other ideas. They were first able to hang around, then closed the game on a stunning 15-5 run. They pulled ahead for good on a layup by Aliyah Boston with two minutes to play. Clark finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists, while Boston, Kelsey Mitchell and NaLyssa Smith all scored in double figures.

With the win, the Fever improved to 9-13 on the season and currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot.

Here are some key takeaways from the game:

Clark makes history... again

Clark has spent the first half of her rookie season rewriting the WNBA and Fever record books. That continued on Saturday when she became the first rookie to register a triple-double and the first Fever player to achieve the feat.

Clark had 17 triple-doubles during her collegiate career at Iowa, which is second only to Sabrina Ionescu on the all time NCAA leaderboard, and there was little doubt she would be a threat to add more at the professional level. Ultimately she needed just 22 games to get her first one in a Fever uniform.

As she's become more and more comfortable with her teammates, Clark has started to routinely rack up double-digit assist performances. In fact, including Saturday's win, she's now done so in four of her last five games. With her scoring and passing ability, the only real obstacle to Clark adding more triple-doubles is the rebounding department. As a 6-foot guard, there are going to be certain games where she doesn't have enough rebounding opportunities.

"Honestly, 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. But obviously, 13 assists, that means my teammates made 13 shots off my passes, so that goes to them. But I don't know, I don't know what to say. I think it's great, I don't know."

A stunning fourth-quarter comeback

Early in the fourth quarter, the Fever found themselves down by 11 points. And though they prevented things from getting out of hand, they still trailed by six as the clock ticked under the three-minute mark. There were likely few inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse or watching on TV who expected the Fever to mount a comeback at that point.

The Fever's offense can catch fire in a hurry, though, and that's just what happened. First, Clark forced her way inside for a tough and-one, then she found Kelsey Mitchell on the fastbreak for a 3-pointer to tie the game. A Mitchell steal then led to a go-ahead layup by Aliyah Boston, and the next time down the floor Clark dished to Lexie Hull for another bucket.

In a 90-second span, the Fever turned a six-point deficit into a four-point lead, and were able to hang on to secure the win. That would have been an incredible response against any team, but especially the first-place Liberty.

"I feel like we're definitely playing good basketball, we're definitely finding some confidence in what we're being able to do out there on the court, we're playing together better," Clark said. "But I think the biggest difference for us has been that when teams make runs, we don't crumble."

Can the Fever make the playoffs?

After a dismal 3-10 start that was heavily influenced by an extremely difficult schedule, the Fever have really turned things around. They are 6-3 since then, with wins over the Mercury and Liberty in the last week, and have the fourth-best offense in the league during that stretch.

Though still just 9-13 on the season, the Fever have moved into the eighth and final playoff spot following Saturday's win. They are half a game behind the seventh-place Sky, half a game ahead of the ninth-place Dream and three games ahead of the 10th-place Sparks. Barring a major change in the coming weeks, it seems as though it will be a three-team race for the final two playoff berths.

The Fever have not made the playoffs since 2016, which is the longest active drought in the league, but they have a real chance to get there this season. Not only are Clark and Co. rounding into form, but they've already faced the hardest part of their schedule. Of their final 18 games, 11 will be at home and only seven will be against the current top-five in the standings.

Fever vs. Liberty score: Caitlin Clark, Indiana rally in fourth quarter to take down Breanna Stewart, New York (2024)
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