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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1. Heat vs. Hawks- 2007

In a regular-season matchup, Miami Heat center  already had five fouls against the Atlanta Hawks and was whistled for his sixth and final foul with 51.9 seconds remaining in overtime. At the time of the call, the Hawks were winning 114-111 over O’Neal’s Heat.

The Hawks would go on to win the game 117-111 at home, but it was the manner in which O’Neal was assessed his final two fouls that had the Heat up in arms afterwards.

The Heat knew they were facing an uphill battle as commissioner David Stern wasn’t known to rule in favor of a team. Each of the previous two times a protest was granted, it was under previous commissioner Larry O’Brien.

Neither of those factors prevented the Heat from protesting, and in the end, they were certainly happy with the decision.

Stern t, as he determined that O’Neal should have actually been hit with his fifth foul and not his final one. The reason for the mishap is because the Hawks’ team official wrongly assessed O’Neal with a foul with 3:24 left in the fourth, which should have gone to  instead.

Stern punished the Hawks with a $50,000 fine as he determined they were negligent with this mishap because they did not follow league protocol when the mistake was pointed out by statisticians.

The win was negated from the Hawks and the loss was also removed from the Heat’s record. The final 51.9 seconds were replayed in overtime when the two teams squared off again on March 8th of that season- less than three months after the initial game.

The Hawks ended up winning the do-over 114-111 as neither team scored a basket in the final 51.9 seconds.