Chances are the NBA Last Two Minute Report isn’t going to make the Lakers or their fans feel a whole lot better about the team’s 119-115, double-overtime loss to the Dallas Mavericks. But it might make those who complained about the officiating down the stretch feel vindicated at the very least, as the report does show a missed foul call that affected LeBron James on his potential game-winner at the end of the first overtime period, among an extensive set of other blown calls affecting both teams in what I think it’s fair to say at this point was not a well-officiated game for either side.
You can view the entire L2M report here, but Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times and Michael Corvo of Clutch Points screenshotted some of the most notable parts:
More incorrect calls:— Michael Corvo (@michaelcorvoNBA) January 13, 2023
-Wenyen should've been called for an off foul with 1:39 in 4Q
-Russ fouled Luka w/ 1:18 left
-Dinwiddie should've taken a jump ball instead of Bullock (lol)
-Luka fouled Wenyen on the rebound after LeBron missed the last-second layup in OT
-Among others: pic.twitter.com/vCClctGKZg
Brown not being fouled confirms what the officials themselves said on Thursday night...
Full pool report including an explanation on the Troy Brown Jr. no call pic.twitter.com/rLWwt2SeFi— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) January 13, 2023
...but is unlikely to make him feel much better about the play:
— Troy Brown Jr (@Troy_Brown33) January 13, 2023
The Lakers really could have used that win, so this sucks, but the reality is that referees are human. Missed calls happen. Errors take place (sometimes even on the Last Two Minute Report). The Lakers are hardly the first team to suffer a missed call on a crucial possession, even just this season. The Sacramento Kings have lost on a blown travel call and a missed foul on a potential game-tying attempt in the last few months, and the Chicago Bulls suffered a Donovan Mitchell 71-piece a couple weeks ago in part because of a missed lane violation.
These things are unfortunate, but they do happen.
Ultimately, they also didn’t have to matter. The Lakers could have also simply used better shot selection down the stretch, played better defense on Luka Doncic in the closing seconds of regulation, or plenty of other things they could control themselves to try to come out on top. If you don’t want to leave the game in the hands of external factors like the officials, don’t let it get this close, and don’t shoot 17-27 from the free-throw line with a bunch of bricks down the stretch.
So yes, this one stings, but it happens to every team. The Lakers will just need to try and be better next time so that they don’t have to count on the officials to be.