It was TV. Always TV. It rules all.
In the fourth quarter of the Spurs' 108-105 win over the Lakers, there was a strange delay. The Spurs were ahead 12 at the time, and referee Bill Kennedy pulled coaches Gregg Popovich and Mike D'Antoni over to explain.
“You called a full (timeout) and you wanted a 20,” Kennedy said. “You didn't have one. You called one in the third quarter. TV went to a 20, thought it was going to be a 20, all right? So what I'm doing right now is I'm stalling, I'm stalling for commercial time and that's why I'm doing this right now. I need your help because ... I can't let your teams go to the huddle, you see what I'm saying?”
Here's the explanation for what Kennedy was explaining:
You're allowed only one 20-second timeout per half and as Kennedy said, the Lakers called theirs in the third quarter. D'Antoni tried to call another 20 with 5:09 left in the fourth, but was assessed a full, because he'd already used that 20. TV got confused thinking it was a 20 and came back from commercial break too soon. So as Kennedy said, he just stalled to clear room for a few more commercials to run.
And since it wasn't an "official" timeout, the teams weren't allowed to huddle and had to remain on the floor. Get it? Got it.