The Houston Rockets suffered a 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, but the team is hopeful that the result can be rectified after referees mistakenly didn't count a dunk from James Harden. As ESPN reports, Harden's dunk with just 7:50 left on the clock would have given the Rockets a 104-89 lead, but because the ball went through the net and back over the rim, the officiating crew thought it didn't count at the time.
"When the play happened, Harden goes in for a dunk, and then the ball appears to us to pop back through the net," said crew chief James Capers after the game. "When that happens, that is basket interference. To have a successful field goal, it must clear the net. We have since come in here and looked at the play. He dunked it so hard that the net carried it back over the rim a second time, so in fact it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal."
Sources indicate that the Rockets are hopeful the NBA will reward them the win, or have the final 7:50 of the game will be played before the next game between these two teams. If the Rockets protest the result of the contest, the NBA will need to be notified within 48 hours of the game.
Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni seemed perplexed as to what happened when he was quizzed by reporters when the game. "I have no idea," D'Antoni said. "I heard that they said the ball hit James and went back through, so it was a goaltend on James. I challenged that, and I didn't get a response. Then another guy said it wasn't a goaltend; it went out of bounds on us. And I said, 'Well, I challenge that.' Can't do that. You know, I don't know, to answer your question. I've got nothing. I can't tell you."