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NaLyssa Smith Leads Indiana Fever To 83-80 Preseason Victory Over Atlanta

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In its sole 2024 preseason home game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday night, the Indiana Fever clinched an 83-80 victory against the Atlanta Dream. Leading the charge for the Fever was forward NaLyssa Smith, who delivered her second 20-point preseason performance, amassing a game-high 21 points.

The team’s offensive prowess was further highlighted by guard Grace Berger, who tallied a game-high seven assists, and rookie guard Caitlin Clark, contributing 12 points alongside a team-leading eight rebounds. Additionally, center Aliyah Boston and forward Katie Lou Samuelson each contributed 11 points to the Fever’s triumph, with Boston notably recording a game-high four blocked shots.

Thursday’s match drew a record-breaking crowd of 13,028 spectators at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, marking the largest attendance at an Indiana Fever home preseason game in franchise history. This figure surpassed the previous record of 9,024 set on May 18, 2000, during the team’s inaugural preseason home game, as confirmed by Elias Sports Bureau.

Despite an early lead by Atlanta, which at one point stretched to 15 points in the first half, Indiana found themselves trailing 30-24 at the end of the first quarter. However, a determined effort before halftime, including a crucial put-back by Fever rookie guard Celeste Taylor, trimmed the halftime deficit to 49-48.

Emerging from the locker room with renewed vigor, Indiana staged a formidable defensive display, limiting Atlanta to just 31 points in the second half. The Dream struggled offensively, shooting below 29 percent from the floor during the final 20 minutes. The Fever capitalized on their defensive prowess, outscoring Atlanta 38-28 in paint points and recording a commanding 11 blocked shots in the preseason finale.

Atlanta’s offensive efforts were led by guard Rhyne Howard, who scored 13 points, and forward Cheyenne Parker-Tyus, who added 11 points. The Dream’s preseason roster also featured notable performances from guard Allisha Gray, guard Aerial Powers, and center Tina Charles, each contributing 10 points.

Looking ahead, the Indiana Fever are set to commence their 2024 regular season campaign against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Mohegan Sun Arena. Fans can catch the action live on ESPN 2, Disney+, the WNBA App, and WNBA League Pass.

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