INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — 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.


This story has been changed to correct that Caitlin Clark played nearly the entire game, not the whole game.


Seattle: Hosts Phoenix on Tuesday night.

Indiana: Hosts Chicago on Saturday.