The Rockets‘ protest of their 135-133 loss to the Spurs on December 3 has been denied, commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA announced today in a press release.
Houston argued in its protest that a “missed” dunk by James Harden with 7:50 left should have counted and that the referees’ decision not to award the Rockets those two points had a clear impact on the outcome of the game, which the Spurs won in double overtime. Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni wanted to challenge the call, but wasn’t allowed to do so.
The NBA conceded that the referees missed the call and misapplied the coach’s challenge rules. However, Silver determined that the Rockets had sufficient time in regulation and in the subsequent overtime periods to overcome the error — at the time of Harden’s dunk, the Rockets had a 13-point lead.
The league therefore ruled that the “extraordinary remedy” of replaying the game’s final eight minutes – or awarding Houston a victory – wasn’t warranted.
The three referees who worked last Tuesday’s game have been disciplined by the NBA for misapplying the coach’s challenge rule, according to the league’s press release.