From the NBA rule book, on pg. 22, there are the rules for mandatory timeouts, which state:
If neither team has taken a timeout prior to 6:59 of the period, it shall be mandatory for the Official Scorer to take it at the first dead ball and charge it to the home team. If no subsequent timeouts are taken prior to 2:59, it shall be mandatory for the Official Scorer to take it and charge it to the team not previously charged.
Now, the question I have is what happens if both the home and road teams have taken a timeout in the first 5 minutes of a quarter, and there are no other taken timeouts? Certainly, in this case, there is no timeout charged at the first dead ball after the 7:00 mark. Because there are no subsequent timeouts, one of the teams must be charged with a timeout on a dead ball at the 3:00 mark, but which one will be charged with this timeout. Or, would this be scored as an officials's timeout?