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A blown call in the final two minutes cost the Minnesota Lynx a WNBA title

An Nneka Ogwumike basket with 1:14 to go was taken after the shot clock sounded.

A sideline jumper by Nneka Ogwumike with just over a minute to go in a decisive Game 5 to break a tie game shouldn’t have counted. But despite the ball leaving the MVP’s hands after the shot clock sounded, it did. The Los Angeles Sparks went on to win the 2016 WNBA Championship over the reigning champion Minnesota Lynx, 77-76, at the Target Center.

By rule, the basket wasn’t reviewable, only because the game continued and play wasn’t stopped by the officials.

In a one-point win, the missed call came to alter the outcome of the game, which was won by another Ogwumike bucket with two seconds remaining. Rightfully so, Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve was infuriated by another controversial call in the series.

“I want to do like other teams do and bemoan the officiating,” Reeve said in the postgame conference. “They botched a call at 1:14. Nneka Ogwumike’s shot was not good. It was reviewable at the time when she shot it. 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 even hear the shot clock.”

Reeve made it clear to the media that her anger was solely on the officiating, and congratulated the Sparks. She even made reference to a bad eight-second call in Game 4 that went in her team’s advantage.

“It’s really unfortunate that players can continually put themselves out there playing and competing at a high level, whether it was the 8-second call in L.A. it doesn’t matter. It’s not fair to the players. It’s not enough to apologize and 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 because it is not fair to these great players that we have.”

Another questionable call earlier in the game saw the officials hit Reeve with a technical foul after she ran down the sidelines screaming at her team to foul to stop play and take out her injured center, Sylva Fowles, who dislocated her finger.

In Game 4, the eight-second call Reeve referred to was admittedly missed by the league.

With 17 seconds remaining in a two-point Minnesota lead, Lynx forward Seimone Augustus couldn’t advance the ball in the eight seconds allowed, but it wasn’t called. Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson finished the game at the line to seal the win.

The next day, Renee Brown, the league’s Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations, released a statement that the officials missed the call.

“After reviewing postgame video, we have determined that with 0:17.7 remaining in regulation time, Minnesota released the ball for a pass from the backcourt and the ball was still in the backcourt when the shot clock turned to 0:16,” she said in the statement. “An 8-second violation should have been called on Minnesota. This play is not a trigger to review via instant replay.”

A memo after the game admitting the blown Ogwumike call won't mean much to Reeve and the Lynx at this point.