Game Recap: NaLyssa Smith Carries Indiana Fever to 83-80 Preseason Win Against Atlanta

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever secured an 83-80 victory against the Atlanta Dream in its only 2024 preseason home game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday night. Fever forward NaLyssa Smith had her second 20-point preseason scoring game, leading the Fever with 21 points. Fever guard Grace Berger ended with a game-high seven assists, while rookie guard Caitlin Clark posted 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Fever center Aliyah Boston and forward Katie Lou Samuelson each added 11 points in the Fever win, while Boston tallied a game-high four blocked shots as well.

Thursday’s attendance at Gainbridge Fieldhouse – 13,028 – was the largest home crowd at an Indiana Fever home preseason game in franchise history, surpassing 9,024 on May 18, 2000 – the team’s first preseason home game, per Elias Sports Bureau.

Atlanta attacked the Fever early, building a lead as large as 15 in the first half and Indiana trailed 30-24 at the end of the first quarter. To end the first half, Fever rookie guard Celeste Taylor’s put back off of a missed field goal reduced the first-half deficit, 49-48, heading into the locker room. Taylor ended the night with eight points and six rebounds.

Indiana responded out of the locker room and held Atlanta to only 31 points in the second half as the Dream shot less than 29 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes. Indiana outscored Atlanta, 38-28, in paint points, and the Fever held a strong advantage inside recording 11 blocked shots on defense in Thursday night’s preseason finale.

Atlanta concluded its preseason slate with guard Allisha Gray, guard Aerial Powers and center Tina Charles, all ending the night with 10 points. Guard Rhyne Howard led Atlanta with 13 points, while forward Cheyenne Parker-Tyus added 11 points.

The Fever tip off the 2024 regular season against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Mohegan Sun Arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2, Disney+, the WNBA App and on WNBA League Pass.