Houston Rockets officially protest Spurs game due to blown call on Harden

Houston Rockets James Harden
(Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photos by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Houston Rockets have unsurprisingly submitted an official protest of their most recent defeat against the San Antonio Spurs.

During the Houston Rockets‘ latest loss, there was a blown call with 7:50 remaining on the clock. The call in question was on a James Harden dunk in which the ball went through the net and came back out around the rim. At that point in the game, the Rockets were winning 102-89 over the San Antonio Spurs, but the Rockets lost steam after the mishap. The Spurs would go on a 26-13 run to close out the final period and eventually take down the Rockets in double overtime.

After the game, the officiating crew admitted to the mistake, which seems to happen to the Rockets quite frequently. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon speculated that the Rockets would possibly protest the game due to the fact that there would have been no overtime, in theory, if the basket had counted. The NBA rules require a team to submit their protest within 48 hours of the game in question or else they lose the ability to protest the specific game altogether.

The Rockets officially submitted their protest on Thursday, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, citing misapplication of the rules. This was an obvious decision as this gaffe took points off of the scoreboard and certainly altered the outcome of the game. Not only that, there’s been a precedent of teams protesting games and actually having the league rule in their favor, which most recently happened with the Miami Heat during the 2007-08 season.

The Rockets are hoping to get the league to re-play the final 7:50 of the game, which is right before when the officials’ error occurred, according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon.

Sources: Rockets’ hope is that final 7:50 will be replayed with Houston up by 15 points. Rockets have no expectation that NBA would award them a win based on Houston actually outscoring Spurs in regulation, which was a possibility raised by a Rockets source in wake of the loss. https://t.co/HFzy0PXGH6

— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 5, 2019

Based on the history of protested games, it’s likely that the do-over would take place prior to when the Rockets and Spurs face off in San Antonio again. This wouldn’t happen until April 8th, which is within the Rockets’ last five games of the season. If a rematch is decided to take place on this date, it could be tough for the Rockets as this particular game falls on a night of a back-to-back for the Rockets.

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We’ll have to wait and see what happens but it would be surprising if the league doesn’t grant the Rockets a re-do of the final 7:50 at the very least.