NBA Would Open Pandora’s Box by Awarding Houston Rockets a Win via Protest

  • The Houston Rockets plan to protest their double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
  • Referees incorrectly ruled off a made dunk from James Harden.
  • If the NBA overturns the result, it would create a dangerous precedent.

The Houston Rockets are reportedly hoping the NBA overturns the San Antonio Spurs’ 135-133 double-overtime victory Tuesday. Referees mistakenly did not count a James Harden-made dunk in the fourth quarter.

According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon,

[The Rockets] are hopeful the league office will either award the victory to Houston due to the Rockets outscoring the Spurs in regulation or order that the final 7 minutes, 50 seconds be replayed at a later date.

While the Rockets are rightfully miffed about the play in question, the NBA would open a Pandora’s box by awarding them a victory because of one blown call.

Early in the fourth quarter, Harden soared in for a breakaway dunk, which would have given the Rockets a 15-point lead. However, the net whipped the ball back up onto the rim, and it clanged off the side of the basket.

After the game, crew chief James Capers explained to pool reporter Mike Monroe of The Athletic why Harden’s dunk didn’t count and whether it was a reviewable play.

Source: Twitter

The TL;DR version: The refs thought Harden’s dunk was basket interference at first glance and ruled it off accordingly. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni had a 30-second window in which he could have challenged the call, but he was attempting to get clarification and didn’t do so in time.

However, D’Antoni presented a different perspective to reporters:

Source: Twitter

On Wednesday, MacMahon reported the Rockets will “likely file an official protest” regarding Harden’s dunk “to ensure that the NBA office will have to make a ruling.”

The Rockets’ frustration with the blown call is entirely…

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