LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers extended their regular season winning streak against the Phoenix Suns to five matches with a three-point victory on Tuesday night in the 2023 NBA In-Season quarter-final. While the Lakers (10) committed fewer turnovers than the Suns (20), which was the key to their victory, the Suns' coach and some players blamed the "timeout call" for their loss.
With just 11 seconds remaining in the game and the Lakers were on a two-point lead, Austin Reaves was blocked by the Suns star duo of Kevin Durant and Devin Booker. The Lakers guard lost the ball while LeBron James asked the official for a timeout immediately before Reaves lost the possession, and the referee blew the whistle to the Lakers' call.
Watch the video here:
The Suns coach and bench were not in favor of the call, however, later it was proved that the decision was accurate. The last-minute pool report from the Lakers and Suns clash confirmed that Reaves still had control when LeBron called for a timeout.
Kevin Durant, Devin Booker reacts to 'timeout call'
While the Suns scoring leader against the Lakers, Kevin Durant didn't want to blame his side's loss on the controversial timeout call, Devin Booker felt a bit different. The Easy Money said in a post-match interview that they cannot rely on the referee's call to win a game.
Watch KD's reaction:
However, Durant's teammate and Suns star guard Devin Booker was feeling discontent with the official's decision to award a timeout to the Lakers. He believed that the ball was not in the home side's possession and it was a wrong call by the referee. He said, "The whole world seen it... We’re not asking for favoritism, just a fair chance."
Booker also took to Instagram after the match and posted a story of the play where the referee called the timeout. He posted a picture where Reaves had lost control while LeBron could be seen asking for a timeout.
With a 106-103 win over the Suns, the Los Angeles Lakers have qualified for the first-ever NBA In-Season semi-final. LeBron James and the Lakers will square off against the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, December 7 at the Crypto.com Arena in the semi-final.