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#pounditFriday, August 14, 2020

NBA denies Rockets’ protest of James Harden dunk error

James Harden dunk

The NBA has denied the Houston Rockets’ bid to protest their Dec. 3 loss to the San Antonio Spurs despite agreeing that the referees misapplied the rule on a James Harden dunk that was not counted.

With 7:50 left in the game, Harden dunked the basketball, only to have it go in and come back out of the net. The basket was incorrectly waved off, and the Rockets ended up losing the game by two, prompting the protest.

In a statement, NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted that the call was wrong, and Houston was incorrectly denied the opportunity to challenge the error. However, he added that, due to the fact that there were nearly eight minutes left in regulation, Silver decided that the Rockets “had sufficient time to overcome the error,” and thus the game would not be replayed from that point.

The Rockets had genuinely believed the NBA would take action in light of how egregious the error was, so they’ll come away disappointed here. It’s clear that the referees failed them, but they did have a 13-point lead at the time that they failed to hold down the stretch. In the NBA’s view, that failure is on them, not the officials.

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