AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

The ball was slipping away, and the U.S. Olympic men's basketball team was trying to make sure the game didn't as well.

Klay Thompson went to the floor to recover it and did what came natural: He looked up at the referee and tried to call timeout.

"I did," he acknowledged Thursday before practice when shown a picture of the play from late in the Americans' 98-88 victory over Australia a night earlier.

He wasn't getting any help from the official.

Unlike the NBA, players can't call timeouts in Olympic basketball. Only the coaches and assistant coaches can do that, and they can't do it while the ball is in play.

Thompson was able to retain possession, spinning from his knees to pass to Paul George once he realized play wouldn't stop.

"You go back to what your instincts are and that's to call timeout," Thompson said. "Luckily, I realized it quick that you couldn't do that. It's that simple and now next time I'll know."