NBA Hoops

Celtics tune into watch Caitlin Clark lead Iowa past LSU after beating Hornets

National Basketball Association

After the Boston Celtics beat the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, the focus of the NBA’s best team quickly turned to something else: watching Caitlin Clark and the final minutes of Iowa’s victory over LSU in the Elite Eight of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

With the volume on the television cranked up, 10 Celtics players sat in a row at their lockers icing their feet, and intently watching Clark make nine 3-pointers and score 41 points to lead Iowa to the Final Four with a 94-87 win.

“How many 3s does she have?” one player asked.

When told it was nine, he shook his head and responded, “Man, that girl can ball.”

“Caitlin Clark is stealing the show of basketball, not only in the women’s game but also the men’s game,” Celtics forward Sam Hauser said. “She’s just really good. And she’s definitely worth the watch.”

It wasn’t until the waning seconds of the game when Iowa had sealed a win that players finally changed out of their game uniforms and headed for the showers, still talking about Clark’s exploits.

Clark is the NCAA Division I all-time scoring leader and will enter the Final Four with 3,900 career points and in sixth place on college basketball’s all-division, all-time scoring list.

Hauser recalls plenty of nights when NBA players sat at their lockers tuned into the men’s NCAA Tournament — many watching and cheering for their own schools — but rarely when they were so locked in to a women’s game.

“I remember UConn dominating for years, but now it’s a more even playing field in women’s basketball,” Hauser said. “And (Clark) has just grabbed everyone’s interest for sure.”

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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