Mystique’s Natasha Cloud calls refs ‘rubbish’ in controversial Sparks loss

Mystique’s Natasha Cloud calls refs ‘rubbish’ in controversial Sparks loss

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Washington Mystics guard Natasha Cloud called the referees “trashy” and told the league to punish her after a controversial finish in the team’s 79-76 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday afternoon.

Down by one point at 13, the Mystics cut the deficit to three with four seconds left, and had one last chance to tie things up and force overtime. They seemed to catch a break when Cloud ran the ball up and started the ruck. When Jordyn Canada snapped the ball, Cloud knocked it out of mid-air and Cloud popped up to call three free throws on what was clearly a foul. The referee who was closest to the game also signaled that he had committed a foul early on.

But after a brief review and discussion between the officials, play was abandoned as the contact came after the whistle. Cloud was furious and had some words for the refs, while Mystics head coach Mike Thibault pleaded his team’s case. At first glance, the refs seemed wrong, but upon further investigation, it was the right call. Even though it was so close, the red lights were on before Canada met.

Claud, who was hit with a technical foul earlier in the game, immediately took to Twitter to express her frustration. “I’m fine,” Claude wrote. “Our officials are rubbish.” In a second statement, she tweeted a video of the play and wrote, “The ugly @WNBA does better.”

Cloud shares her thoughts on the final game.

Twitter.com/T_Cloud4

Cloud is generally right about the quality of serving in the WNBA, which often leaves something to be desired, and the umpires in this game could have done a better job of explaining their decisions. In terms of this particular game, though, Cloud wasn’t right and ended up getting penalized.

With the loss, the Mystics have a golden opportunity to move past the Seattle Hurricanes (who lost on Sunday) and move into fourth place in the standings. Instead, they are at half a game with 3 games to go. They also have no points difference between the clubs, so they need to finish ahead of the Storm to get home court in the first round.

As for the Sparks, the win snapped a brutal six-game losing streak and kept them alive in the playoffs. The play-off between the clubs is now known and they are one game off the eighth-placed Phoenix Mercury. While they still have a lot of work to do, especially in their next two games against the Connecticut Sun, the Sparks still have a glimmer of hope.



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