Suns’ Frank Vogel miffed over timeout granted to Lakers during loose ball

The Los Angeles Lakers are advancing to the first In-Season Tournament Final Four this weekend in Las Vegas. The Phoenix Suns are not.Frank Vogel

And that’s because the Lakers eliminated the Suns on Tuesday night in a game that came with its fair share of controversy. Basically, the Suns were down by two points in the final moments, then ended up stripping the ball from Lakers guard Austin Reaves. As it rolled toward the Suns basket as a loose ball, Lakers star LeBron James called a timeout. It was granted.

Given that no one had possession of the ball, no one was permitted a timeout. But the official gave one to the Lakers anyway, and they regained possession of the ball. Game. Set. A bad look for NBA officiating.

Afterward, Suns coach Frank Vogel didn’t hold back on his feelings.

“Not a good one. I mean, it’s a loose ball and the ball’s out and can’t call timeout on a loose ball … can’t do it,” Vogel told reporters, via Duane Rankin of the Arizona Republic. “If the whistle blows …  everything in the league is reviewable. I don’t know why that can’t be reviewable. I know it’s not a foul or an out-of-bounds, which is like a challenge. But at any point in the game, the whistle blows inadvertently, the ref can huddle up and say, ‘inadvertent whistle, where were we at during the game?’ That did not happen. Extremely disappointed.

“See it all the time: Inadvertent whistle, take it out on the side. Nobody had the ball? Jump ball. Grayson Allen is going to grab it and lay it in (if the timeout wasn’t awarded).”

The timeout didn’t cost the Suns the game, but it did cost them a chance to tie and perhaps win later. The end result drew strong criticism on social media, with some fans accusing the NBA of making sure the James-led Lakers advanced to Vegas.

Also, Suns guard Devin Booker posted a screenshot of the play in question on Instagram.

Meanwhile, star forward Kevin Durant took the high road.

“That’s not the game,” he told reporters about the play. “I don’t like to complain about calls.”

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