MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Lynx are upset. Their coach is upset. Their fans are upset. Gov. Mark Dayton is upset.
Now the WNBA says it doesn’t blame them for feeling that way.
The Los Angeles Sparks got a season-ending 77-76 win against the Lynx, but the game didn’t end without controversy.
Down by 8 with roughly three minutes left, Minnesota went on an 8-0 run to tie the score at 71 with one and a half minutes left. After both teams traded baskets, Maya Moore put the Lynx up by one with 15 seconds to play.
Then the Sparks countered, missing their first shot but league MVP Nneka Ogwumike got the offensive rebound and made what turned out to be the game winner.
There was a controversial no-call on a shot clock violation late in the game. One of the Sparks players appeared to make the basket after the clock expired.
Rules allow officials to look at a replay immediately after the shot to determine if it should count, but that option was not taken.
“It’s not fair to the players. It’s not enough to apologize and send out a memo that they got something wrong,” Coach Cheryl Reeve said Thursday night. “These players are so invested and something must be done about the officiating in this league because it is not fair to these great players that we have.”
On Friday, the WNBA responded with a statement from chief of basketball operations and player relations Renee Brown.
“After reviewing postgame video, we have determined that Nneka Ogwumike’s shot with 1:14 remaining in regulation time should not have counted due to a shot-clock violation, and that the referees improperly failed to review the play under the instant replay rules.”
This is Los Angeles’ first championship since 2002. The loss took away the Lynx’ hope for four titles in six seasons.