Indiana Fever loses again and Caitlin Clark points out the reasons to Christie Sides: official crisis?

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

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

Clark, who had three three-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 if you give 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 and outscored the Fever 34-18.

“A lot of it was calmness,” Loyd said of the third. “Part of that was being able to make stops. Because we were able to make 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 home win over Indiana on May 22.

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 to lose all these games.”

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

“You have two competitive people,” Clark said of her encounter with Vivians.

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