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Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was against Houston’s protest vs. Spurs


Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta finally spoke up regarding the team’s unsuccessful protest made earlier this season over an uncounted James Harden dunk.

According to Kirk Bohls of Statesman, Fertitta admitted that he wasn’t keen to file the protest because of a blown 22-point lead. He added that it was his “basketball people” that pushed for filing, and said, “If something is important to my players and basketball ops people, I give them a lot of leeway.”

The dunk in question originated in a game against the Spurs earlier this season. Harden had attempted a slam during the fourth quarter, during which Houston was still up 13 points. They eventually suffered a double-overtime loss, 135-133.

Although replays in fact showed that the basket was good, the time window for a Coach’s Challenge had supposedly passed. Houston filed the protest immediately after the game but was denied after nearly a week of investigation.

Additionally, Dan Feldman of NBC Sports further noted that NBA Commissioner Silver agreed on the referee’s misapplication of rules, but determined that the Rockets had “sufficient time to overcome the error during the remainder of the fourth quarter and two subsequent overtime periods.”

The three referees from the game were also reportedly disciplined.

Despite suffering the painful loss, the team has since propelled to a 38-20 record, fourth in the stacked Eastern Conference. They have also made headlines for a novel small-ball line up, following a Clint Capela trade. Contrary to doubters and critics’ predictions, the Rockets have also won five straight, and are now a game behind the third-seeded Clippers.

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