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Houston Rockets: 3 times the league ruled in favor of a team’s protest

Anthony Duckett
Miami Heat Shaquille O'Neal (Photo by Darrell Walker /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)
Miami Heat Shaquille O'Neal (Photo by Darrell Walker /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

With the Houston Rockets bracing for a team protest in light of the NBA’s missed call, it’s worth looking back in history to examine the three times the league has ruled in favor of a team protest.

During the Houston Rockets‘ Tuesday night loss against the San Antonio Spurs, there were many game-altering calls and non-calls. However, there were none bigger than James Harden‘s dunk with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, as it was clear and blatant that the ball went through the net.

Despite that, the officials determined that the basket did not count, although they later recanted after the game and said the Houston Rockets should have been credited with the field goal. With this quick reversal and admittance afterward, the Houston Rockets have given thought to protest the game if the league doesn’t award them with the victory, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

The thinking is that the Houston Rockets should have won the game after all because they outscored the Spurs, or they would have if the correct call had been made at the time. If the Rockets wish is granted, they could very well play the final 7:50 of the fourth quarter, although there are slim chances of a team winning a protest.

A Rockets source is optimistic that the NBA office will take action regarding James Harden's dunk that didn't count, either awarding the win to Houston or ordering that the final 7:50 be replayed because the Rockets outscored the Spurs in regulation. The Rockets believe a…

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 4, 2019

… protest might not be necessary but will prepare to file one if the league office does not take action.

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 4, 2019

It’s worth going back in history and noting the odds of a team winning a protest. According to USA Today, there have been 35 protests dating back to 1952, and there’s been an 8.5 percent success rate of having the league reverse course and rule in favor of the team.

As the Rockets face this dilemma, it’s worth examining the last three times an NBA team successfully protested a game and was granted an opportunity to re-play the game afterward.

Let’s get started!

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