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Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve livid about officiating

October 21, 2016
Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve directs her team in the first quarter during Game 5 of the WNBA basketball finals against the Los Angeles Sparks Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Minnesota Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve directs her team in the first quarter during Game 5 of the WNBA basketball finals against the Los Angeles Sparks Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve was livid in her postgame news conference.

After congratulating Los Angeles for winning the WNBA championship with a 77-76 victory over the Lynx on Thursday night in a decisive Game 5, Reeve complained about the officiating.

“It’s really unfortunate that players continually put themselves out there, playing and competing at a really high level. Whether it was the 8-second call in LA or the game today, it’s not fair to the players,” Reeve said. “It’s not enough to apologize or send out a memo that they got something wrong. These players are so invested and something must be done about the officiating in this league. It’s not fair to these great players we have.”

Reeve’s comments came after the officials didn’t review a shot by Nneka Ogwumike with 1:14 left in the game that appeared on replays to have come after the shot clock had expired. The officials never reviewed the play, which gave Los Angeles a 73-71 lead.

By WNBA rules, in the final 2 minutes of a game, plays are only reviewable immediately. Earlier in the game, time can elapse off the clock and they can still be reviewed.

“It was reviewable at the time when she shot it,” Reeve said. “The referees at that point didn’t think anything was wrong. They didn’t understand it was the end of the clock. They didn’t hear the shot clock. When they put the ball in play, the play is no longer reviewable.”

It wasn’t the first missed call in this series. In Game 4, the Lynx benefited when the officials didn’t call an 8-second violation late in that game. The WNBA admitted the next day that its officials had missed that call.

Last season, in the Western Conference finals, the Lynx were aided by a foul with 1.5 seconds left in a tie game against Phoenix. The league said that foul should not have been called.

“It’s unfortunate we’re having this discussion,” Reeve said. “A number of people contacted us saying this shot was no good. Maybe they still win. I don’t want to take anything away from LA.”

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