In the closing seconds of the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA In-Season Tournament matchup against the Phoenix Suns, LeBron James was able to call a timeout for his team despite the fact that Austin Reaves seemed to have lost possession of the ball.
Lakers got this timeout call on what seemed to be a loose ball 👀 pic.twitter.com/j1xdODEgNo
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 6, 2023
The Lakers went on to win the game by three points and will take on the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night in the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament.
Former Los Angeles Clippers players Darius Miles and Quentin Richardson want the NBA to make changes following the controversial call at the end of the game between the Suns and Lakers.
“We need to just start having a ref in a booth that’s really correcting the calls that can call down and be like, ‘Yeah, nah that was a bad call. We gotta fix that,'” Miles said. “Because that was — that could have been a layup if he wouldn’t have — if he wouldn’t have called that call. So, man I hate that for the Suns. I hate that you know — I know you don’t really try to blame a whole game on one play. But, man that’s just — that’s just a tough pill to swallow when you — when the game organically happen like that where you get an opportunity to get a steal to tie the game.”
After Miles spoke about the controversial end to the Lakers-Suns game, Richardson gave his two cents.
“If it wasn’t so many other times during the game that they do replays, I wouldn’t care,” Richardson said. “I would just be like, ‘Damn, you know, you missed it. We — ain’t nothing you can do.’ But as many replays as we do, as long as we take, as many times they put the camera up on the ref so he could say this, that and the third happened after we saw the replay six, seven times. Come on, bro, we got TiVo at home. We can rewind everything. Everybody could see that that was not it. And for us to have replay involved in the game and not to use it at a critical moment like that and it’s not demanded to be used or able to be requested by the Suns, that’s crazy to me.”
The Lakers’ In-Season Tournament victory over the Suns gave the team its 13th win of the season to this point. At 13-9, the Lakers own the fifth-best record in the Western Conference at the moment. Plus, Los Angeles is only one game back of the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 2 seed in the conference.
The Lakers have been playing great basketball of late. The team has won seven of its last 10 games and is currently riding a two-game winning streak.
A big reason why the Lakers own one of the better records in the Western Conference is the play of James. James is the oldest player in the NBA right now but has shown no signs of slowing down or aging. Across 21 games played so far this season, he is averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from behind the 3-point line.
Hopefully for James and the Lakers, they will be able to come up with a win against the Pelicans on Thursday in order to advance to the In-Season Tournament championship game. If the Lakers beat the Pelicans, they will play the winner of the matchup between the Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks, which will also take place on Thursday.
An In-Season Tournament championship for the Lakers could send a message to the NBA that they are title contenders once again this season.