Angel Reese outduels Caitlin Clark in Sky's win over Fever

Angel Reese powers Sky past Fever with 8th straight double-double (2:13)

Angel Reese's 25 points and 16 rebounds propel the Sky past the Fever. (2:13)

CHICAGO -- For the first time in their pro careers, Angel Reese got the win over Caitlin Clark.

Reese did so with one of the best performances yet, scoring a career-high 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds to lead the Chicago Sky to a thrilling 88-87 comeback victory over the Indiana Fever on Sunday, despite 17 points and a franchise-record 13 assists for Clark.

Reese recorded a double-double for the eighth consecutive game, extending her WNBA rookie record, to help Chicago overcome a 15-point second-half deficit and earn her first victory over the Fever and Clark as a pro. The Fever had won the previous two matchups this season, both in Indianapolis.

"This is what I do: I come out and perform," Reese said after the game. "I do what it takes to win every single day."

Chicago ended the game on a 31-15 run over the final 11:25 powered by Reese, who had as many points (15) and field goals (5) as Indiana during that span.

Reese grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled as she made the putback to tie the game at 82 with three minutes remaining. Then, the Sky found Reese again for a driving layup with 53 seconds remaining to put Chicago ahead for good.

"She ran really well in transition," Clark said of Reese. "She got a couple and-1s in transition, obviously, she played a really great game. I think they definitely knew to be physical with us. I think they probably watched [our last game] and saw that we fouled them nonstop ... 35 [free throws] ... a team like this you are not going to get away with that."

Meanwhile, Clark tied the record for most assists by a rookie in a double-double performance in league history, but she did not score after the 7:12 mark in the fourth quarter and attempted just three shots in the final period.

"I'm sure there was an opportunity or two for me to probably attempt another shot there at the end, but I trust my teammates," Clark said. "Obviously, 13 assists, that means my teammates scored off of 13 of my passes. It's a really great number, so I'm going to give them the ball every time and give them an opportunity to score."

Reese and Clark, two of the top rookies in this year's WNBA class, have been intertwined because of their history in college. Clark's Iowa Hawkeyes lost to Reese and LSU in the 2023 national championship game, but avenged that defeat in the 2024 national semifinals before losing to South Carolina in the title game.

Both Clark and Reese downplayed the rivalry between their two teams entering Sunday's anticipated matchup. Still, the game lived up the billing as one of the hottest tickets in the history of the WNBA.

Tickets to Sunday's game at Wintrust Arena were going for an average of $351, according to Vivid Seats. Celebrities in attendance included Chicago-area rappers Chance the Rapper and Lil Durk; actor/comedian Jason Sudeikis; Knicks star Jalen Brunson; and Hall of Famer Sheryl Swoopes, who shared an extended embrace with Reese after the game -- "she told me she's proud of me," Reese said.

"It's good for the game, good for women's basketball, but also good for women's sports," Reese said of the crowd. "You see NBA players, rappers, legends that played in the league for a great long time come out and show support. You know everybody's watching right now.

"I think this is one of the most important times right now, and we just continue to keep putting on. I think both teams tonight did an amazing job putting on a show. It was fun. I had a great time, I'm sure the other team had a great time. I'm just happy we won tonight."

Despite the loss, Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell, who has been in the league since 2018, agreed that the atmosphere made for a special moment in women's basketball history.

Though many Fever games this season have been moved to larger venues because of high ticket demand to see Clark, Sunday's game could not be held at the United Center, which was booked with concerts Friday, Saturday (Justin Timberlake) and Sunday (Russ).

Still, Wintrust Arena's 9,872 seats were sold out.

"Today was a really good moment to be a part of," Mitchell said. "The atmosphere, you guys, the media, the fans, your family, the young kids, I think this was a good atmosphere for us. I think that the women's basketball game as a whole took a big jump today."

The Sky also snapped the Fever's four-game winning streak.

Chicago has now won back-to-back games following a four-game losing streak.

"That losing streak definitely spoke a lot for us, hard times in the locker room, hard conversations in the locker room," Reese said. "But being able to take that, everybody looked in the mirror and figured out what to do to get better. It doesn't stop here, two-game win streak, we gotta keep going."

The Associated Press and ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this story.