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Christie Sides blasts Fever over lack of effort in blowout loss - ESPN

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — The Connecticut Sun trounced the Indiana Fever 89-72 on Monday, at one point leading by as many as 28 points and ultimately leaving Fever coach Christie Sides upset with her team's effort.

«I'm going to start with how you can't, at this level, coach effort,» Sides said to begin her postgame news conference at Mohegan Sun Arena. «I felt like we were just trying to ask them to keep playing hard, play hard. You can't start there. You can't play in this league if you have to coach effort. It's just too hard.»

Connecticut, which raced ahead 26-15 after the first quarter and was up 55-35 by the end of the first half, had defeated Indiana by just four points in their previous meeting last month in Indianapolis. But Monday's contest was not nearly as competitive, with the Fever struggling on both ends early but especially defensively.

«This is a team you can't come out and be lackadaisical against; they're just that good,» said No. 1 draft pick Caitlin Clark, who was held to 10 points (all in the first half) on 3-for-8 shooting to go along with two assists, three turnovers, a steal and no rebounds for Indiana. «They're going to punch you in the mouth. And I don't think we had it from the jump, and obviously, that's a little disappointing.»

The Sun's 89 points — led by 22 from DiJonai Carrington — were second most in a game for them this summer. They also shot 47.1% from the 3-point line as they improved to 10-1 on the season and rebounded from Saturday's loss to the visiting New York Liberty.

«I thought we could have played with a lot better energy,» Clark said. «I thought we let little things on the offensive end frustrate us, and we didn't play good defense.

»It's not a recipe to win many games."

The Fever