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May 23, 2024 12:51 am

Jewell Loyd nets 32 as Storm hand Fever 5th straight loss

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Jewell Loyd scored a game-high 32 points Wednesday night and the Seattle Storm handed Caitlin Clark and the visiting Indiana Fever their fifth straight loss to start the season, edging them 85-83.

Loyd also pulled down 11 rebounds, while Nneka Ogwumike added 22 points after missing the last two games with an ankle injury. Ezi Magbegor contributed 14 points and Sami Whitcomb came off the bench to hit for 10 points as Seattle improved to 2-3.

Clark led Indiana with 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in perhaps her best all-around game in her brief WNBA career. But she committed a pair of critical turnovers down the stretch, including one in the final seconds with the Fever trying to take the lead.

Ogwumike made a free throw with 2.4 seconds left after the Storm won a jump ball. Indiana’s final desperate chance was a shot from behind the halfcourt line by Aliyah Boston that was wide right at the horn.

Kelsey Mitchell added 17 points for Indiana and NaLyssa Smith kicked in 16 to go along with 11 rebounds. But the Fever allowed 17 offensive rebounds and the extra possessions helped Seattle win despite making just 34 of 82 attempts from the field.

In the first quarter, Seattle did what every Indiana foe has done so far — feast on sub-par defense. The Storm used a 9-0 run that saw Loyd score seven points and established a 25-16 advantage going to the second quarter.

The Fever displayed some resistance in the second quarter, working their way back into contention behind better defense and Smith’s scoring punch. She had eight points in the period, including a short fadeaway with a second remaining that pulled them within 44-40 at the break.

Seattle opened up an 11-point third-quarter lead before Clark spearheaded a 17-2 Indiana run, accounting for 11 points as she scored nine and fed Katie Lou Samuelson for a layup. That enabled the Fever to lead 60-58 going to the fourth period.

–Field Level Media

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