The final two minutes of Saturday's game between the Lakers and Warriors took more than 20 minutes to play -- and neither team was to blame.. Photo Credit: ABC/ESPN Photo Credit: ABC/ESPN

If you’re ever watching a basketball game and get annoyed when the end is drawn out as both teams use time-outs and the trailing team tries to extend the game with intentional fouls, remember what happened on Saturday night between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers.

Golden State won the game 128-121. With just under two minutes left, it took 19 minutes of real-time to play 15 seconds of game time. What was the cause? After reviews, the shot clock at Arena malfunctioned. Eventually, as procedure dictated, the shot clock was kept by an official with a stopwatch while the PA announcer informed the players and fans when the shot clock reached certain points.

It’s not ideal — but it’s also not the end of the world. Despite that, several attempts were made to get the shot clock back up and running. This included multiple times when the Lakers would inbound the ball, only for play to be immediately whistled dead due to the shot clock not running. So, while fewer than two minutes of game time remained and the Warriors had what appeared to be a safe lead, 19 minutes passed before the game was allowed to finally continue with the backup procedures in place.

Making matters worse, this was a nationally televised game. And to the surprise of nobody, the game’s announcers got (understandably) frustrated.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in 30+ years in the NBA,” ABC play-by-play man Mike Breen lamented. “And I’ll bet Steph Curry and LeBron James haven’t either, in all their times together.”

When it was finally decided that PA announcer Lawrence Tanter would announce the shot clock, Breen gave his approval.

“Lawrence Tanter is going to address the time. There’s not a better voice to announce the time,” Breen said.

Color commentator JJ Redick also approved. Though, with all due respect to Tanter, his approval had less to do with the quality of the announcer and more to do with finally getting the game restarted.

“I would take any voice at this point,” Redick said.

“You’ll take Pee-Wee Herman doing it,” said a laughing Breen. “Oh my — goodness gracious.

“And the crowd is in a frenzy as the game begins again,” he later added.

The rest of the game was essentially seamless. The Lakers regained possession with 14 seconds on the shot clock. Shortly after Tanter announced “10 seconds,” Curry stole the ball from James. The Warriors ran a lot of the shot clock down and after Tanter announced 15 and 10 seconds, Draymond Green found Jonathan Kuminga for an alley-oop.

In one respect, it was good to see the rest of the game go off smoothly. On the other hand, it made the lengthy delay even more baffling and irritating.

Curry scored 31 on Saturday night, leading the Warriors to a win over the Lakers in his return from injury. James, as has so often been the case in his career against the Warriors, had a great game in defeat, scoring 40 points.

And in time, those performances, as well as the rest of what happened on the court will likely be what gets remembered from Saturday’s game. In the immediate aftermath, though, it’s hard to overlook the bizarre ending.

[Photo Credit: ABC/ESPN]

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