The Toronto Raptors were on a 10-2 run with 3:05 left in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Monday when head coach Nick Nurse called a timeout. The move appeared to ice his own team, as coming out of it, the Golden State Warriors outscored Toronto 6-2 the rest of the way to win the game.
Afterward, Nurse gave two reasons for the move.
"We had two free ones that you lose under the three-minute mark," he told reporters postgame, referring to the NBA rule that only allows coaches to use two timeouts during the final three minutes, and lose any others remaining. "And we just came across and just decided to give those guys a rest ... just thought we could use the extra energy push."
While Nurse chose to take a timeout then, he didn't call one prior to the Raptors' final possession with a chance to win the game.
Then, with Kawhi Leonard double-teamed, Kyle Lowry missed a potential championship-winning 3-pointer. That happened while Marc Gasol appeared to be setting a screen on Draymond Green, giving Lowry an opportunity to cut to the basket. Instead, Green got a hand on Lowry's shot.
"We didn't take a timeout there on that last play, right," Nurse said. "But we let them play and Kawhi had it and they doubled him, and he moved it to Fred, and moved it to Kyle, and we just didn't quite have enough space there ... I was confident we would come down and play and make the right decisions and get a good shot. I have a lot of faith in those guys."
Game 6 tips off Thursday in Oakland.