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Fever’s Christie Sides issues serious reminder to Caitlin Clark, Indiana over foul frustration

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark was assessed her second technical foul of the season Tuesday night in the team’s 88-82 loss at home to the Los Angeles Sparks. Toward the end of the first quarter, Clark apparently jawed at the referee for too long and was whistled. 

On the play that led up to the technical, Lexie Hull lost handle of the ball and collided with the Sparks’ Aari McDonald with 2.7 seconds to go in the first quarter. McDonald made all three free throws. Both teams committed 46 fouls combined, which led to an unbelievable 58 free throws. 

In the fourth quarter Tuesday, Aliyah Boston and Clark were called for fouls on back-to-back possessions. Neither seemed to agree with it. Boston walked over to the ref after she was tangled up beneath the basket and pleaded her case, whereas Clark, who already had the technical, put her hands up in disbelief after she was whistled going over an opposing screen. 

Both committed five personal fouls Tuesday night. 

“We’re spending too much time talking to the officials,” Fever head coach Christie Sides said after, when asked if there was an explanation for Clark’s technical foul. “We’ve got to leave that alone. We’ve got to just play our game and let them do their job, and not put it in their hands to make decisions… that ultimately hurts… we shouldn’t get technicals… let me go after the officials.”

Foul counts this season for the Fever

Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) runs up the court
© Grace Hollars/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Sides hasn’t been whistled for any technicals this season. Clark’s last tech came at home versus the Connecticut Sun on May 20. That game, Clark played 27 minutes and posted 17 points with three rebounds, five assists, and five turnovers. Tuesday versus the Sparks, Clark had her career-high 30 points and three blocks, along with three assists and seven turnovers. 

“And just the technical foul, probably can’t get that,” Clark said back on May 20. “But a little frustration with how the game was ref’d. But it is what it is. That’s out of your control, you can’t really handle it. I thought our team put ourselves in position to make some plays to try to win down the stretch and the Sun always came up with big plays too.” 

Arguably, Boston was perhaps unintentionally testing the waters in the fourth quarter when she kept pleading her case Tuesday night. Boston was also asked what she talked to an official about after the contest. She replied that she was trying to figure out the foul discrepancy when both teams shared the same tendencies. Boston credited ref Isaac Barnett for staying and chatting. 

The 1-7 Fever return to action Thursday versus the Seattle Storm.

Anna Harden

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