The Last Two Minute Report from the In-Season Tournament game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns revealed that the Suns benefitted from three non-calls down the stretch. Additionally, the report revealed that the controversial timeout granted to the Lakers in the closing seconds was indeed the correct call.
Controversy occurred with just over 10 seconds to go in the contest when Suns forward Kevin Durant converted a layup to cut the Lakers’ lead to two. After the basket, Lakers forward LeBron James inbounded the ball to Austin Reaves. The Suns swarmed Reaves and ultimately caused him to lose the ball.
The ball was DEFINITELY loose. I don't see how the referees grant a timeout here. pic.twitter.com/ZlaxGXpCx6
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) December 6, 2023
At the same time, James called for a timeout that was granted by the officials. Phoenix protested the decision, both on the floor and after the game, but it was ultimately deemed correct. The report states that James called the timeout while Reaves had the ball pinned to his leg, before he lost possession of it again.
But, while the refs got that call correct, they missed three other calls against Phoenix over the final 120 seconds. The report states that Suns guard Grayson Allen should have been called for a reaching foul on Reaves while he was gathering to go up for a shot with 1:34 left in the game. Nothing was called on the floor.
Next, the report reveals that Durant should have been called for a shooting foul on James while the Lakers forward was driving to the basket with 44 seconds remaining. Again, there was no foul called at the time, despite James’ complaints.
The final missed call came just a single second later on an Anthony Davis putback attempt. James missed his layup attempt after no foul was called on Durant, and Davis secured the offensive rebound. As he was going back up to the rim, Davis was fouled by Jusuf Nurkic, but there was no whistle.
With three calls going against them at the end of the game, the Lakers have valid reason to be upset with the referees. Ultimately it didn’t matter though, as the Lakers were able to pull out a 106-103 victory over Phoenix in the game.
With the win, the Lakers advanced to the semifinals of the In-Season Tournament. They have gone a perfect 5-0 in tournament play so far.
L.A. will now face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in Las Vegas on Thursday night for a chance to move on to the championship game, which will take place on Saturday night. The winner of the contest between the Lakers and Pelicans will square off against the victor of the other semifinal game between the Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers.