Report: Rockets Hope NBA Will Take Action After Missed Call on James Harden Dunk

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2019

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts to a play during overtime of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The Houston Rockets are reportedly hopeful that the NBA will make good on an officiating mistake that resulted in a James Harden dunk being ruled a missed shot despite the fact that it went through the hoop during Tuesday night's 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

According to ESPN's Tim MacMahon, the Rockets either want to be awarded the victory—since they would have outscored the Spurs in regulation had the dunk counted—or they want the opportunity to replay the final 7:50 of regulation at a later date with a 104-89 lead since that is when the dunk occurred.

MacMahon added that league sources "scoffed" at the idea of Houston being given the win.

After the botched dunk call, San Antonio outscored Houston 26-13 through the remainder of regulation and went on to win in double OT.

After the game, official James Capers told a pool reporter that the call was missed and added that Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni was not permitted to challenge the call since he took too long to do so:

"When the play happened, Harden goes in for a dunk, and then the ball appears to us to pop back through the net. When that happens, that is basket interference. To have a successful field goal, it must clear the net. We have since come in here and looked at the play. He dunked it so hard that the net carried it back over the rim a second time, so in fact, it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal.

"As to could the play have been reviewed, it is a reviewable matter, but you have a window of 30 seconds to challenge the play during that timeout that he had, and while they were protesting the call, trying to get clarification of it, that window passed. So, therefore, it elapsed, and they were not able to do it."

Harden finished with a game-high 50 points in the loss, but with the Spurs trio of Lonnie Walker IV, Bryn Forbes and DeMar DeRozan combining for 76 points, San Antonio had enough firepower to pull out the win after the controversy.

In the event that the NBA does reorder the final 7:50 of regulation to be replayed, it would mark the first time that has happened since 2008, per ESPN Stats & Info.

The Atlanta Hawks originally beat the Miami Heat 117-111, but the final 51.9 seconds of the game were replayed four months later since the official scorer incorrectly ruled that Heat center Shaquille O'Neal had fouled out. Atlanta still went on to win 114-111.

As things stand based on Tuesday's result, the Rockets are fifth in the Western Conference at 13-7, while the Spurs are 12th at 8-14.

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