Rockets-Knicks drama: 3 times a team successfully protested a call

New York Knicks v Houston Rockets
New York Knicks v Houston Rockets / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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2. Lakers vs. Spurs-1982

Following the league’s 1979 ruling in favor of the Sixers’ protest, the San Antonio Spurs decided to follow suit in 1982. The Spurs faced the Los Angeles Lakers on November 30th and lost 137-132 in double overtime. But it was the closing seconds of the game that drew the ire of the Spurs.

With just three seconds left in the fourth quarter, Lakers guard  was at the foul line with the Spurs winning 116-114. Nixon was shooting his second free throw and instead faked the free throw, making a motion to shoot the ball but simply not releasing it.

This caused players from both the Lakers and the Spurs to go into the lane, resulting in a lane violation call on both teams. This led to a jump ball, which the Lakers won.

Nixon ended up making the game-tying bucket and sending the game to overtime, which eventually led to a Lakers victory.

After the game, the Spurs were in dismay with the manner in which they lost and decided to protest. From the Spurs’ vantage point, since Nixon never actually shot the ball, there should have been no lane violation called against either team and instead Nixon should have been made to simply shoot the second free throw.

Commissioner O’Brien and ultimately agreed to put three seconds back on the clock and replay the game with the score 116-114 with Nixon on the line for the remaining free throw.

It was determined that the final three seconds would be played during both teams’ second match-up on April 13th of the 1982-83 season. The Spurs would win the replay of the game by a score of 117-114.