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After 47 minutes and 58 seconds of rugby disguised as basketball, it looked as though the Los Angeles Lakers were going to escape their Thursday tilt with the Dallas Mavericks with a victory. After inbounding the ball with a tied score and six seconds remaining, the double-teamed LeBron James swung the ball over to an open Troy Brown Jr., who geared up for a game-winning 3-pointer but was seemingly smacked in the process. 

The ball fell short, but Brown would have three chances to win the game at the line -- right? Wrong. No whistle arrived. The buzzer sounded. The Lakers and Mavericks went to overtime. After 10 minutes and two overtime periods, Dallas emerged with the 119-115 victory. The Lakers weren't exactly pleased with the outcome.

"It looked clear as day that it was a foul," coach Darvin Ham said after the game. James was less diplomatic. "That's a f---ing foul," he said, from across the locker room, as Brown was asked about the play in the post-game media scrum. The officials, however, stood firm on the call.

"Hardaway Jr. gets a piece of the ball on the closeout and then does make some high five contact, which is legal and that play was correctly no called," referee Josh Tiven told the pool reporter after the game. It was hardly the only controversial call to go against the Lakers, but in the grand scheme of things, you could argue that they still ultimately benefitted from the officiating.

After all, the Lakers shot 27 free throws. The Mavericks shot only 17. Luka Doncic was hounded by Russell Westbrook for nearly the entire game, aggressively denying him the ball in a way that irked Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who sat near his team's bench. "Stan Van Gundy is absolutely right," Cuban tweeted in reference to commentary from TNT's broadcaster. "Worst officiated game. Luka gets no respect. Unreal."

While Westbrook got away with quite a bit defensively against Doncic, it should be pointed out that he was called for a flagrant foul on this transition play in overtime, when he lowered his shoulder and rammed into Doncic seemingly without making a basketball play.

The officials couldn't abide this play, but they let just about everything shy of that degree of contact go in one of the most physical games of the regular season. There were periods of roughly six minutes each in the second and third quarters in which neither side went to the free-throw line (excluding a technical foul) despite the physicality remaining high for most of the game.

When both sides have complaints, it typically means that the officiating was probably fair. In this case, almost every gripe feels legitimate. The officials seemingly lost control of the game and allowed it to get far more physical than it should have been. The result was one of the sloppier games of the season thus far, and one that needed two overtimes of controversy to resolve itself.