Last week, the San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets in double-overtime by a final score of 135-133. However, after the game, the Rockets decided to file a protest due to a blown call on this James Harden dunk.
Talk out of Houston even hilariously floated the idea that the NBA could grant the Rockets a victory due to Harden’s dunk not counting. The flawed logic was that since the game was tied after regulation, the Rockets getting two points from the Harden dunk would mean an automatic win. While the NBA quickly shot down that preposterous notion, the Rockets still held out in hopes that Commissioner Adam Silver would force the two teams to replay the game’s final 7:50.
While Silver denied the protest, he agreed that the referees made an error by not allowing the Rockets to challenge the play. If challenged, the call would have been reversed and Harden would have been granted two points for his successful dunk.
The Failure of the Houston Rockets’ Protest
Why did Silver decide to deny the protest? First of all, it would have opened a can of worms for the NBA. If the protest would have been successful, any blown call from today onward would have teams clamoring for a redo.
Secondly, Silver pointed to the fact that the Rockets had ample opportunity to overcome the mistake by the refs. As Silver noted, Houston had the final 7:50 of regulation and two overtime periods to fix the matter themselves. The Rockets didn’t and the Spurs won.
A redo of the final 7:50 would have been really disappointing to the Spurs. The miraculous comeback would have been difficult to duplicate, considering Harden’s dunk would have put them in a 15-point hole. Moreover, Lonnie Walker IV’s breakout game would have been lost, as he scored all 19 of his fourth quarter points after the blown call. In all, 23 of his career-high 28 points would have vanished.
With the protest finalized, the Spurs are now officially 9-14 and they officially have won two straight games, their first winning streak since October. The Rockets, on the other hand, were dealt another loss tonight when Nemanja Bjelica nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sacramento Kings a 119-118 victory in Houston.
No word yet if the Rockets will protest the Kings loss.