Caitlin Clark, Aliyah Boston got hurt late in blowout loss. Here’s why they were still in.

BROOKLYN — Fever coach Christie Sides made a simple decision to insert star players and No. 1 picks Aliyah Boston and Caitlin Clark into a game that had a 30-point deficit in the fourth quarter: They wanted to be on the court.

“They were eager to compete,” Sides explained. “They wanted to step into the game and attempt to close the gap. They have a sense of pride and wanted to keep fighting.”

Regrettably, this decision resulted in injuries for both players.

Clark entered the game with 7 minutes and 54 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, with the Fever trailing by 30 points at 84-54. However, she sustained a hit to the ear from a screen just moments after entering. She left the game with 6 minutes and 29 seconds left, briefly seeking refuge in the locker room. She returned to the bench with approximately two minutes remaining but did not re-enter the game.
Boston joined the game with around seven minutes remaining and played for about a minute and a half before she had to exit with 5:33 left on the clock. During a tussle with Liberty backup forward Leonie Fiebich, Boston fell and immediately grasped her ankle in pain.

After lying on the floor briefly, Boston managed to stand up and limp off the court under her own power. Before heading to the locker room, she consulted with Fever athletic trainer Todd Champlin. Unfortunately, Boston did not return to the game.

The Fever ultimately suffered a 104-68 loss to the New York Liberty at Barclays Center, dropping their season record to 2-9. Coach Sides did not have any definitive updates on Boston and Clark’s conditions after the game.

“I haven’t had a chance to talk to Todd; he was still evaluating them when I went back there,” Sides stated. “All I know is that Aliyah injured her ankle and Caitlin had an issue with her ear. I don’t have any further details.”

Fortunately, both Boston and Clark will have plenty of time to rest as the Fever’s next game is not until Friday against the Mystics.