NBA Denies Rockets’ Protest, Upholds Spurs’ Win

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.

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24 thoughts on “NBA Denies Rockets’ Protest, Upholds Spurs’ Win

    • amk3510

      You are going to run with this all the way until the Rockets get bounced in the playoffs. I can already see it, “If they had the extra win they would have been a higer seed and won”.

      • Banesays

        don’t bother, he likes to talk a big game but as soon as anyone calls him on it, he disappears.

  1. Reflect

    Clearly the wrong call and Rockets should have been able to replay the portion of the game. Not sure why the burden of proof is on them. It should be on the team that erroneously won. Innocent until proven guilty. Winner until proven not.

    That being said, this is not going to mean a damn thing and it seemed like a waste of time from the jump.

    • x%sure

      No replays. This isn’t sandlot ball. And I don’t think the burden of proof was on the Rockets or anyone; it just didn’t go far enough rationally to involve that.

    • traderumorzcmntr

      The spurs won the game Reflect, so you’re saying they need to prove why they won the game? Thought a comeback being down 13 points after that missed call did that. The rockets definitely needed to provide proof as to why they should be able to replay that last 8 minutes. No business blowing that lead with harden and Russ on that team.

  2. Steven St Croix

    So the ref’s blew the call and screwed up the would be challenge, and nothing happens? That’s a joke!

    • Jim Bernstein

      The refs were disciplined which is noted in the article. There were no “innocent” or “guilty” parties here; no team or player or coach acted in bad faith. There was a blown call by the refs with 7:50 left to play in the game but it defies any logic to argue that this one non-basket with 7:50 left decided the outcome. Commissioner Silver made the correct and reasonable decision.

  3. jump shot

    Next time they play, have the score be 2-0 at the jump ball lol! But seriously, I had heard about the incident and even seen “highlights” of on tv. I’d initially thought the Rockets got a raw deal until reading this article and seeing that the Rockets were up 13 when it happened. That’s their own fault (and D’Antoni’s) for them losing that game – not the referee error while THEY WERE UP THIRTEEN!
    I agree with the NBA’s ruling.

  4. snotrocket

    Well Harden has almost 6000 points on free throws over the course of his career on bs ticky-tac fouls that shouldn’t have been called so him not getting a call for once is his life is a tiny bit of justice.

  5. harden-westbrook-mvps

    And the refs once again cost the Rockets their 2nd game over the past week, not with one bad call but two tonight in another 5 on 8 affair.

    • Dodgethis

      Rockets should just change their names to snowflakes and get it over with.

    • x%sure

      This is how they deal with their status of a declining contender. Its the refs.

      Lebron didn’t chat with the refs like Harden; he hollered at them and made them mad. The results were predictably negative… unless you rooted against him.

  6. andynordy

    Yes, the Rockets gave up a 13 point lead in the 4th quarter but the game ended in a tie, so for those of us that can count, if you add that basket to the score at the end the Rockets win. If they gave up enough of a lead to lose at the end by more than 2 then fine, but if Harden’s dunk counted, you can’t just assume that the Spurs would have gotten another basket to tie the game, maybe they would have but nobody knows, so a replay seems fair to me. I’m not sure what the penalty is for saying a made basket was missed and then not letting the coach challenge or reviewing the call yourself, but I think it should be severe, that is ridiculous, especially when they review everything else all the time.

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