The NBA denied the protest the Houston Rockets filed in regard to their 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs last Tuesday night.
The Rockets held a 102-89 lead in the fourth quarter when star guard James Harden scored on a dunk. The force of the slam caused the ball to go back through the net and over the rim, and the officiating crew ruled that Harden missed the dunk.
Houston’s appeal said that the rules were misapplied by the crew when it failed to grant the club a requested coach’s challenge to have the play reviewed. The NBA agreed with the Rockets’ contention, but commissioner Adam Silver determined that the Rockets had “sufficient time to overcome the error during the remainder of the fourth quarter and two subsequent overtime periods and thus the extraordinary remedy of granting a game protest was not warranted.”
The NBA said the officials — crew chief James Capers, Kevin Scott and John Butler — were disciplined for misapplying the challenge rule. The league didn’t disclose the nature of the punishments.
Capers told a pool reporter that the crew watched replays of the dunk after the game and that it should have been ruled a “successful field goal.” He said there was a 30-second period for which the Rockets could request a review and that the period passed while Houston was contesting the call.
The NBA also said it will work the competition committee to develop procedures that will prevent a situation like Harden’s from occurring again.
–Field Level Media