Houston Rockets: NBA rejects protest against San Antonio Spurs defeat after referee blunder

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The NBA has rejected the Houston Rockets’ request to replay the finale of their defeat by the San Antonio Spurs during which a James Harden dunk was incorrectly ruled out.

Officials judged the ball had bounced out of the basket but later admitted the two points should have stood.

Houston were leading 102-89 but went on to lose 135-133 in double overtime.

Yet the NBA said the Rockets had “sufficient time to overcome the error” in the remainder of the game.

“Thus the extraordinary remedy of granting a game protest was not warranted,” it added in a statement on Monday.

If the Rockets’ request had been granted, the two sides would have replayed the game from 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, just before the officiating error.

Harden had dunked the ball with such force that, after clearing the net it, was propelled back up and around the rim.

The NBA said that the referees had also misapplied the rules in denying Houston a video review of the play at the time.

The officials said a coach’s challenge was not granted because more than 30 seconds had elapsed from the start of the timeout that Houston called, but the NBA clarified this time limit only applies for mandatory timeouts or timeouts called by opposing teams.

The NBA said it has disciplined all three referees from the game for misapplying this rule.

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