NaLyssa Smith posts double-double in Indiana Fever loss to Mystics

A new era of Indiana Fever basketball began in Washington, D.C. on Friday with an 84-70 loss. But there were plenty of positive moments from familiar faces and newcomers.

Here are five takeaways from the team’s season-opener:

Fever can’t quite overcome rough start

The Fever kept pace with Washington in the opening minutes, thanks to Tiffany Mitchell and Kelsey Mitchell scoring the team’s first 10 points. But Washington used a 12-0 run to take a 27-14 lead, putting Indiana on its heels. What had been a one-point deficit was a 15-point deficit by the start of the second quarter. Washington shot 12-of-16 in the first period. By the end of the first half, Washington had scored 50 points to Indiana’s 31.

“That’s not acceptable at all,” Fever coach Marianne Stanley said. “We’re not going to ever use an excuse about being young or anything. That has nothing to do with being young. That has to do with being ready from the opening tip to bring the energy, the effort, the competitiveness that we saw in the second half.”

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