The Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs played out one of the best games of the young NBA season on Tuesday night, but the final outcome came with plenty of controversy. The Spurs were eventually able to squeak out a thrilling 135-133 double-overtime victory over Houston despite Russell Westbrook piecing together a triple-double and James Harden dropping 50 points for the third time this season.
However, it can certainly be argued that the game shouldn’t have even advanced to an overtime period in the first place. Harden threw down a breakaway dunk with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter that would’ve given Houston a 15-point lead, but the basket was waved off by officials. Upon reviewing the footage of Harden’s dunk though, the ball can be clearly seen being punched through the net forcefully and then coming back over the rim.
This is the craziest "missed" dunk I've ever seen. Crazy, because James Harden didn't miss it. Refs missed the call. Rockets lost in OT. ?pic.twitter.com/uNkD5ez32Z
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) December 4, 2019
Still, the basket was waved off by officials and from there, San Antonio rallied to force two overtime periods and wound up stealing the game. Now according to ESPN’s Tim McMahon, the Rockets are hoping the league office will take action on the blown call and are seeking either a victory over San Antonio or a replay of the ballgame’s final eight minutes.
The Houston Rockets are optimistic that the NBA office will take action after referees mistakenly did not count a James Harden dunk in Tuesday night’s 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, sources told ESPN.
The Rockets are hopeful the league office will either award the victory to Houston due to the Rockets outscoring the Spurs in regulation or order that the final 7 minutes, 50 seconds be replayed at a later date, sources said.
League sources, however, scoffed at suggestions the Rockets would be awarded the victory.
The refs even admitted to missing the call once the game had ended. Veteran crew chief James Capers said after the game that Harden’s basket should have counted.
Crew chief James Capers on the Harden dunk fiasco. pic.twitter.com/UhHQpscOFP
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) December 4, 2019
Still, even with the referees’ admitting to making the wrong call after the game, the chances that Houston gets their wish at a replay or earning a win remain extremely slim.
Though this is a particularly egregious example, missed calls are certainly part of nearly every professional sports game and this one proved no different. In the end, it was the Rockets who were unable to hold on to their 22-point lead, resulting in their seventh loss of the season.