NBA decision on Rockets-Spurs game likely to wait until mid-December
The Houston Rockets have formally protested a 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs after a James Harden dunk in the fourth quarter was errantly miscounted. Yet that decision could take an additional 10 days to process, as the Rockets will have five days to present “clear evidence” that the game was affected by the omission of that basket, while Commissioner Adam Silver has five more days to come up with a verdict, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
The Rockets reportedly were hoping there would be no need to protest this game, confident the league would either award them the win or force teams to play the 7:50 remaining in the game again after counting Harden’s fast-break dunk. The league scoffed at potentially giving them the win, which only made Houston more serious about challenging the outcome of the game and submitting the paperwork to go with it.
This protest doesn’t come cheap, as it costs $10,000 to make the appeal, amount which is refunded to the organization if they’re successful with the decision.
It will be a daunting task to do so, considering the Rockets must prove that one made basket would be pivotal in changing the outcome of the game altogether, even tougher considering that Harden made a 3-point basket 30 seconds later, extending the lead back to 16 points — the same lead the Rockets had to start the quarter.
San Antonio chipped away at the deficit constantly thanks to a late-game shot-making barrage from second-year guard Lonnie Walker IV, who scored 18 of his career-high 28 points in the fourth quarter.
Harden had multiple chances to put the game away, including a drive in regulation, a floater in the first overtime, and another drive in the second extra period. Both Harden drives resulted in offensive fouls.
Houston will have a tough time proving those two points would have had a pivotal effect in the game, considering the Rockets squandered a 16-point lead in the last 7 minutes and 20 seconds of regulation.
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