The Houston Rockets are no strangers to questionable calls by the referees. We all remember the time Kevin Durant played Twister out of bounds and got away with it. In last years second round of playoffs, the referees came back and admitted they missed at least 4 calls that might have changed the outcome of Game 1 against Golden State. Last night’s call during their game against the San Antonio Spurs was even more outrageous.
With 7:50 left in the fourth quarter, James Harden got a steal and made it down the court for a dunk. He dunked the ball so hard that the net swung it back around, making it look like it went in and out. The officials decided on the court that these two points would not count. Upon reviewing the play after the game, it was admitted to be the wrong call. The shot should have counted. Mike D’antoni, the Rocket’s Head coach, tried to challenge the play but it was not done in the 30 second window.
The Rockets seem to be gearing up to protest this call, hoping that the NBA will either give them the win or let them replay the last 7:50 minutes of the game. If the two points had counted, the final score would be 117-115 in regulation time. With the two points taken away, the Spurs took the Rockets into double overtime, securing the win in the last few seconds.
If either of these end up happening (both seem unlikely but is not unprecedented), it would change a lot for the league. Imagine all the protests that would come in the future. At the end of the day, officials are people just like the rest of us and human error is bound to happen. However, the Western Conference is even closer than it was last year. One game was the difference between second to fourth seed last season for the Rockets. This game could be just as important.
The Rockets have 48 hours to file a protest and pay a $10,000 protest fee. Both teams will have five days to submit evidence which will then be reviewed and ruled on by Adam Silver.
Featured Photo Credit: USA Today
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