LAKERS

LeBron James semi-vindicated as NBA drops mixed bag on officiating from Lakers loss vs. Mavs

The game featured questionable officiating throughout, causing tensions to boil among both sides for nearly all 58 minutes.

On Friday, the NBA released its much-anticipated Last 2 Minute Report for Thursday’s slate of games, which included the double-overtime thriller between LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and Luka Doncic’s Dallas Mavericks, which the Mavs won 119-115.

The game featured questionable officiating throughout, causing tensions to boil among both sides for nearly all 58 minutes. Mark Cuban live-tweeted his support of TNT’s Stan Van Gundy’s on-air criticisms of the refs. LeBron could be overheard in the Lakers’ locker room expressing his disdain for the officiating in an NSFW manner.

According to the report, the refs did make a handful of mistakes throughout the final two minutes of regulation and the overtime periods, though the league stood by the non-call that LeBron was particularly incensed about.

With 6 seconds to go in regulation — following a cold-blooded Luka game-tying 3 — Lakers wing Troy Brown Jr. attempted a potential game-winning triple from the right wing. Tim Hardaway Jr. clipped Brown Jr. on the hand and shoulder on the shot contest, forcing an air ball.

Afterward, Darvin Ham said it was “clear as day” that Brown Jr. was fouled and LeBron made his opinion clear postgame.

But, lead official Josh Tiven claimed Hardaway Jr.’s contest was legal. The NBA’s Last 2 Minute report stood by that non-call.

However, LeBron’s postgame gripes with officials (not an uncommon occurrence) were somewhat vindicated by another key conclusion in the L2M report. According to the league, Mavs center Christian Wood should have been whistled for a shooting foul on LeBron’s potentially game-winning reverse layup attempt at the end of the first OT. Plus, Luka apparently fouled Wenyen Gabriel on the ensuing rebound.

The L2M report was peppered with acknowledged errors. Among others, the league said Gabriel should’ve been whistled for an offensive foul towards the end of regulation, Russ fouled Luka shortly after, Reggie Bullock incorrectly took a jump ball instead of Spencer Dinwiddie (lol), and more. You can check it out below:

Of course, the NBA’s admittance of mistakes won’t make the Lakers feel any better about the grueling loss.

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