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Jewell Loyd helps lead Seattle Storm over Caitlin Clark, Indiana Fever 103-88

Rookie star plays nearly entire game, scoring 20 points in losing effort

By PHILLIP B. WILSON, Associated Press
Published: May 30, 2024, 6:56pm
2 Photos
Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) shoots against Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Indianapolis.
Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) shoots against Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Thursday, May 30, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Doug McSchooler) Photo Gallery

INDIANAPOLIS — Caitlin Clark scored 20 points and had nine assists while playing nearly the entire game, but the Indiana Fever continued to struggle on Thursday night in a 103-88 loss to the Seattle Storm.

Jewell Loyd had 22 points and Skylar Diggins-Smith added 18 points and nine assists as the Storm (5-3) scored a season high in points. Nneka Ogwumike scored 17 for the Storm.

Clark, who had three 3-pointers, played all but four seconds in front of a crowd of 15,022, but could not prevent the Fever from falling to 1-8, the second-worst record in the league.

“The third quarter was when we lost the game,” Clark said. “I just thought our defensive rotations were bad. … It’s not really about our offense. It was our defense. You’re not going to win a basketball game giving up 103.”

Seattle led 47-41 at halftime before opening the third quarter on a 12-2 run. The Storm made 12 of 17 shots in the quarter to outscore the Fever 34-18.

“A lot of it was composure,” Loyd said of the third. “Some of it was being able to get stops. Because we were able to get so many defensive stops, we were able to just flow and make plays. That’s when we’re at our best.”

Loyd, the league’s reigning scoring leader, scored a season-high 32 points in a May 22 home win over Indiana.

Fever forward NaLyssa Smith, back in the starting lineup due to Temi Fagbenle’s left foot injury, scored 15 of her team-high 23 points in the first half. She also had 10 rebounds and scored her 1,000th career point.

“Our goal is to win here,” Smith said. “I’m just ready to win. It’s not a good feeling, losing all these games.”

As the deficit widened, Fever coach Christie Sides was hit with a technical foul for protesting a non-call on a Clark drive to the basket. Clark also drew a technical after exchanging heated words with Seattle’s Victoria Vivians.

“You’ve got two competitive people,” Clark said of her run-in with Vivians.

UP NEXT

Seattle hosts Phoenix on Tuesday night.

Indiana hosts Chicago on Saturday.

____

STORM 103, FEVER 88

SEATTLE (103) — Ogwumike 8-11 0-0 17, Vivians 2-4 0-0 5, Magbegor 4-10 6-7 15, Diggins-Smith 8-14 0-1 18, Loyd 8-14 4-4 22, Horston 6-9 0-0 12, Fankam Mendjiadeu 0-0 0-0 0, Russell 3-6 1-2 7, Mühl 0-1 0-0 0, Whitcomb 2-5 0-0 4, Williams 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 42-75 11-14 103.

INDIANA (88) — Smith 8-14 6-7 23, Wallace 1-4 0-0 2, Boston 4-7 2-2 11, Clark 6-17 5-5 20, Mitchell 5-16 3-4 14, Samuelson 4-6 0-0 12, Saxton 0-0 0-0 0, Berger 1-4 4-4 6, Hull 0-2 0-0 0, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-70 20-22 88.

Seattle 27 20 34 22 — 103

Indiana 20 21 18 29 — 88

3-Point Goals—Seattle 8-19 (Diggins-Smith 2-4, Loyd 2-4, Ogwumike 1-1, Williams 1-1, Magbegor 1-2, Vivians 1-3, Horston 0-1, Mühl 0-1, Whitcomb 0-2), Indiana 10-25 (Samuelson 4-6, Clark 3-8, Boston 1-1, Smith 1-3, Mitchell 1-4, Wallace 0-1, Hull 0-2). Rebounds—Seattle 32 (Magbegor 8), Indiana 36 (Boston 12). Assists—Seattle 29 (Diggins-Smith 9), Indiana 21 (Clark 9). Total Fouls—Seattle 22, Indiana 16. Fouled Out—Whitcomb. A—15,022 (20,000)

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