2016 WNBA Finals

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2016 WNBA Finals
Team Coach Wins
Los Angeles Sparks Brian Agler 3
Minnesota Lynx Cheryl Reeve 2
Dates October 9–20
MVP United States Candace Parker
(Los Angeles Sparks)
Television ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes (HD)
Referees
Game 1: Maj Forsberg, Jeff Wooten, Tom Nunez
Game 2: Michael Price, Billy Smith, Roy Gulbeyan
Game 3: Tom Mauer, Eric Brewton, Amy Bonner
Game 4: Roy Gulbeyan, Maj Forsberg, Kurt Walker
Game 5: Tom Nunez, Eric Brewton, Amy Bonner
Eastern Finals Los Angeles Sparks defeated Chicago Sky, 3–1 (Note: the semifinal rounds as of 2016 were not divided by conference)
Western Finals Minnesota Lynx defeated Phoenix Mercury, 3–0
WNBA Finals

The 2016 WNBA Finals was the best-of-five championship series for the 2016 season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). The top-seeded Minnesota Lynx held home court advantage in the Finals, but lost three games to two to the second-seeded Los Angeles Sparks. The series followed a 2–2–1 format, and eschewed from the previous tradition of having the Western Conference champion face the Eastern Conference champion. Instead, in the 2016 season, the top eight teams qualified for the playoffs, regardless of conference. Both WNBA Finals teams were from the Western Conference. The Sparks won a semifinal series against the Chicago Sky to determine one of the Finals berths; the first-seeded Lynx defeated the Phoenix Mercury to earn the other. Candace Parker was named the 2016 WNBA Finals MVP. Renee Brown, outgoing Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations of the WNBA, issued statements following games 4 and 5 saying the referees had made an error in each game.[1][2] Nevertheless, the Sparks won the series 3 games to 2.

Road to the Finals

Standings and playoffs

Western Conference W L PCT GB Home Road Conf.
1 - Minnesota Lynx 28 6 .824 - 15–2 13–4 15–1
2 - Los Angeles Sparks 26 8 .765 2 14–3 12–5 11–5
7 - Seattle Storm 16 18 .471 12 10–7 6–11 7–9
8 - Phoenix Mercury 16 18 .471 12 11–6 5–12 6–10
e - Dallas Wings 11 23 .324 17 6–11 5–12 8–8
e - San Antonio Stars 7 27 .206 21 4–13 3–14 1–15
Eastern Conference W L PCT GB Home Road Conf.
3 - New York Liberty 21 13 .618 - 10-7 11-6 11-5
4 - Chicago Sky 18 16 .529 3 11-6 7-10 8-8
5 - Indiana Fever 17 17 .500 4 8-9 9-8 8-8
6 - Atlanta Dream 17 17 .500 4 11-6 6–11 9-7
e - Connecticut Sun 14 20 .412 7 8-9 6-11 4-12
e - Washington Mystics 13 21 .382 8 5-12 8-9 8-8
 
First round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 21)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 24 and 25)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 28 – Oct. 6)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Oct. 9 – 20)
 
                           
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Minnesota Lynx
3
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
0
 
 
 
 
 
3
New York Liberty
94
 
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
101
 
5
Indiana Fever
78
 
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
89
 
1
Minnesota Lynx
2
 
 
 
2
Los Angeles Sparks
3
 
6
Atlanta Dream
94
 
 
 
7
Seattle Storm
85
 
4
Chicago Sky
108
 
 
6
Atlanta Dream
98
 
 
 
 
 
2
Los Angeles Sparks
3
 
 
4
Chicago Sky
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Note: Teams re-seeded after second round and semi-finals.

Semifinals
Team 1 2 3
1
Minnesota Lynx
113 96 82
8
Phoenix Mercury
95 86 67
Team 1 2 3 4
2
Los Angeles Sparks
95 99 66 95
4
Chicago Sky
75 84 70 75
WNBA Finals
Team 1 2 3 4 5
1
Minnesota Lynx
76 79 75 85 76
2
Los Angeles Sparks
78 60 92 79 77


WNBA Finals

Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx (left) and finals MVP Candace Parker of the Sparks in Game 2
Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles of the Lynx (right) and Nneka Ogwumike of the Sparks (left) who ultimately made the winning basket

This finals series was arguably the best the WNBA has ever seen.[POV? ] The classic Western Conference showdown did not disappoint. Los Angeles managed to steal Game 1 on the road with a 78-76 victory. Sparks veteran guard Alana Beard hit a buzzer beater. Minnesota bounced back in Game 2, with an effective 79-60 dropping of the Sparks to tie the series at a game a piece. Lynx forward Maya Moore led the charge with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Game 3 took place in LA, where the Sparks put themselves one win away from their first title in 14 years, with a dominant 92-75 win over Minnesota. Sparks superstars Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike combined for 45 points on 19-of-33 shooting. Despite home court advantage in Game 4, the Lynx responded to a devastating loss with a narrow win 85-79, forcing a decisive Game 5 back in Minnesota. Game 5 was truly one of the greatest basketball games ever to be played.[peacock term] The game was very close, but with 3.1 seconds remaining in the game, Ogwumike hit the game-winning shot, grabbing an offensive rebound and scoring, to put her team ahead 77-76. The Sparks emerged as champions for the first time since 2002. Parker, the team's number 1 pick in the 2008 WNBA draft, delivered 28 points and 12 rebounds as she won her first ever WNBA championship. Parker was also named Finals MVP.

Game 1

Alana Beard hit a tie-breaking baseline jumper as time expired to give the Sparks the series lead after a seesaw first game.[3]

Sunday, October 9, 2016
2:00 PM (CDT)
Report
Los Angeles Sparks 78, Minnesota Lynx 76
Scoring by quarter: 21–18, 13–18, 22–24, 22–16
Pts: Ogwumike 19, Toliver 19
Rebs: Ogwumike 9, Parker 9
Asts: Chelsea Gray 4, Parker 3, Toliver 3
Pts: Moore, Fowles, Whalen 18
Rebs: Fowles 13, Moore 6
Asts: Whalen 6
Los Angeles leads 1–0
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Attendance: 12,113
Referees: Maj Forsberg, Jeff Wooten, Tom Nunez
Game 2
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
7:00 PM (CDT)
Report
Los Angeles Sparks 60, Minnesota Lynx 79
Scoring by quarter: 14–18, 11–21, 21–15, 14–25
Pts: Ogwumike 14
Rebs: Ogwumike 12
Asts: Beard, Carson, Parker 3
Pts: Moore 21
Rebs: Fowles 15
Asts: Fowles 4
Series tied 1–1
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
Attendance: 12,832
Referees: Michael Price, Billy Smith, Roy Gulbeyan
Game 3
Friday, October 14, 2016
6:00 PM (PDT)
Report
Minnesota Lynx 75, Los Angeles Sparks 92
Scoring by quarter: 17-32, 23-16, 18-22, 17-22
Pts: Brunson, Fowles 14
Rebs: Moore 7
Asts: Moore 5
Pts: Parker 24
Rebs: Ogwumike, Parker 9
Asts: Beard 7
Los Angeles leads 2–1
Galen Center, Los Angeles, CA
Attendance: 8,093
Referees: Tom Mauer, Eric Brewton, Amy Bonner
Game 4
Sunday, October 16, 2016
5:30 PM (PDT)
Report
Minnesota Lynx 85, Los Angeles Sparks 79
Scoring by quarter: 22-20, 24-20, 19-19, 20-20
Pts: Moore 31, Whalen 13
Rebs: Fowles 13
Asts: Augustus 5, Moore 5
Pts: Gray 20, Toliver 15
Rebs: Ogwumike 8
Asts: Beard 4
Series tied 2–2
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Attendance: 12,885
Referees: Roy Gulbeyan, Maj Forsberg, Kurt Walker
Game 5
Thursday, October 20, 2016
7:00 PM (CDT)
Report
Los Angeles Sparks 77, Minnesota Lynx 76
Scoring by quarter: 17-18, 11-16, 26-21, 23-21
Pts: Parker 28
Rebs: Ogwumike, Parker 12
Asts: Beard 6
Pts: Moore 23
Rebs: Brunson, Fowles 9
Asts: Moore 11
Los Angeles wins WNBA Finals, 3–2
Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

Team rosters

Minnesota Lynx roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From
G/F 33 United States Augustus, Seimone 6' 0" (1.83m) 169 lb (77kg) 04-30-1984 LSU
F 32 United States Brunson, Rebekkah 6' 2" (1.88m) 185 lb (84kg) 12-11-1981 Georgetown
G 51 Spain Cruz, Anna 5' 9" (1.75m) 136 lb (62kg) 10-27-1986 Spain
C 34 United States Fowles, Sylvia 6' 6" (1.98m) 212 lb (96kg) 10-06-1985 LSU
F 24 United States Hampton, Keisha 6' 1" (1.85m) 171 lb (78kg) 02-22-1990 DePaul
F 3 United States Howard, Natasha 6' 2" (1.88m) 171 lb (78kg) 09-02-1991 Florida State
F/C 4 United States McCarville, Janel 6' 2" (1.88m) 218 lb (99kg) 11-03-1982 Minnesota
G 21 United States Montgomery, Renee 5' 7" (1.7m) 143 lb (65kg) 12-02-1986 Connecticut
F 23 United States Moore, Maya 6' 0" (1.83m) 178 lb (81kg) 06-11-1989 Connecticut
G 7 United States Perkins, Jia 5' 8" (1.73m) 168 lb (76kg) 02-23-1982 Texas Tech
G 13 United States Whalen, Lindsay 5' 9" (1.75m) 166 lb (75kg) 05-09-1982 Minnesota



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: DALLAMINPHOSASEA
Head coach
United States Cheryl Reeve (La Salle)
Assistant coaches
United States Shelley Patterson (Washington State)
United States Jim Petersen (Minnesota)
Athletic trainer
United States Chuck Barta (Wisconsin-La Crosse)
Assistant trainer
United States Kate Taber (Iowa)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

WNBA roster page


Los Angeles Sparks roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight DOB From
G/F 0 United States Beard, Alana 6' 1" (1.85m) 160 lb (73kg) 05-14-1982 Duke
F 10 Russia Belyakova, Evgeniya 6' 0" (1.83m) 150 lb (68kg) 06-27-1986 Russia
G/F 17 United States Carson, Essence 6' 0" (1.83m) 163 lb (74kg) 07-28-1986 Rutgers
G 23 Serbia Dabović, Ana 6' 0" (1.83m) 157 lb (71kg) 08-18-1989 Serbia
F 28 Montenegro Dubljević, Jelena 6' 3" (1.91m) 179 lb (81kg) 05-07-1987 Montenegro
G 12 United States Gray, Chelsea 5' 11" (1.8m) 170 lb (77kg) 10-08-1992 Duke
F/C 7 France Gruda, Sandrine 6' 4" (1.93m) 185 lb (84kg) 06-25-1987 France
C 42 United States Lavender, Jantel 6' 4" (1.93m) 185 lb (84kg) 11-12-1988 Ohio State
F 30 United States Ogwumike, Nneka 6' 2" (1.88m) 174 lb (79kg) 07-02-1990 Stanford
F/C 3 United States Parker, Candace 6' 4" (1.93m) 175 lb (79kg) 04-19-1986 Tennessee
G 20 United States Toliver, Kristi 5' 7" (1.7m) 130 lb (59kg) 01-27-1987 Maryland
C 21 Belgium Wauters, Ann 6' 4" (1.93m) 193 lb (88kg) 10-12-1980 Belgium



East: ATLCHICONINDNYWAS | West: DALLAMINPHOSASEA
Head coach
United States Brian Agler (Wittenberg)
Assistant coaches
United States Tonya Edwards (Tennessee)
United States Amber Stocks (Cincinnati)
Athletic trainer
United States Courtney Watson (UC Berkeley)
Strength and conditioning coach
United States Kelly Dormandy (Springfield College)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

WNBA roster page

Controversies

After both Game 4 and Game 5 of the WNBA Finals, the league acknowledged that they had made officiating mistakes late in the games that might have affected their final outcomes. Regarding Game 5, the league released this statement: "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." A similar statement was released after Game 4 after the league admitted to have blown an eight-second violation call. Nevertheless, the outcomes of the games remained the same, with Minnesota taking game 4 and Los Angeles taking game 5.

External links

  • Finals schedule at WNBA.com

References

  1. ^ Renee Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations (October 17, 2016). "WNBA Statement On Lynx-Sparks WNBA Finals Game 4". WNBA. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  2. ^ Renee Brown, WNBA Chief of Basketball Operations and Player Relations (October 21, 2016). "WNBA Statement on Lynx-Sparks WNBA Finals Game 5". WNBA. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ Alana Beard's last-second shot gives Sparks the win over Lynx in WNBA Finals opener. The Associated Press. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
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