The Rockets Got Screwed Because This James Harden Dunk Inexplicably Didn’t Count

In Wednesday’s Hot Clicks: An officiating controversy in San Antonio, another amazing performance from Luka Doncic and more.
Author:
Publish date:

The ball went through the hoop

Rockets' James Harden dunks the ball vs. Spurs

The Rockets lost to the Spurs in double overtime last night by two points. Not coincidentally, the Rockets were robbed of two points in the fourth quarter when a successful James Harden dunk was amazingly not counted. 

The play came with 7:50 left in the fourth quarter, as the Rockets were in the midst of blowing a once-sizable lead. Houston led by as many as 22 late in the third quarter but saw the advantage dissipate over the final 14 minutes of regulation. The teams played two overtime periods before the Spurs came out on top, 135–133. 

Houston coach Mike D’Antoni pleaded with the referees that “It went through!” but to no avail. D’Antoni’s protest is also a source of controversy. He said he tried to challenge the play but the official in charge said the coach didn’t act quickly enough. 

“They said that the ball hit James and went back through [the hoop], so it was goaltending on James, so I said, ‘I challenge that,’” D'Antoni told reporters.

"I didn’t get a response. Another guy said that it wasn’t goaltending, it just went out of bounds on us. I said, ‘Well, I challenge that.’ They go, ‘Can’t do that.’ I don’t know. I didn’t get an explanation. I got nothin’.”

Crew chief James Capers said D’Antoni took too much time arguing the call before formally challenging. 

“It is a reviewable matter, but you have a window of 30 seconds to challenge the play during the timeout that he had,” told a pool reporter. “While they were protesting the call, trying to get clarification of it, that window passed. So therefore it elapsed and they were not able to do it.”

The Rockets are not ready to concede defeat, though. The team is holding out hope that the league will step in and throw out the result of the game, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reports

“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,” MacMahon wrote.

Just changing the game to a Houston win is obviously absurd. The Spurs could have just as easily come back from a 15-point deficit with 7:50 remaining as a 13-point deficit. But replaying the final moments of a game after an officiating blunder isn’t unprecedented. It last happened in 2008, when a Hawks official scorer incorrectly ruled that Shaquille O’Neal had fouled out for the Heat. Atlanta and Miami met again four months later to play out the last 51 seconds for a second time. 

The best of SI

What happened when the owner of the Kings turned his D-League squad in Reno into a laboratory of basketball. ... It was a tough call but the Panthers were right to fire longtime coach Ron Rivera. ... The Bucks are the only truly dominant team in the NBA right now. ... Why MLB’s new pitching rules are bad for the game

Around the sports world

Kevin Garnett says Kyrie Irving was too soft to handle playing in Boston. ... Don’t click this link if you don’t want to see a field hockey player with his skull all messed up. ... A soccer player in England’s fourth tier sent a tweet six months ago about how he’d dominate Manchester City’s John Stones. Now he has to face him in the FA Cup. ... The XFL revealed uniforms for its eight teams last night.

James Harden does not care for your criticism

Luka Doncic went off again—33 points, 18 rebounds in 28 minutes

They called the foul on the guy who had his chest stepped on?

Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki stopped a robbery on his off day

Draymond had his jersey retired at MSU

Melo sounds like he was pretty close to hanging it up 

No white stake on this course?

Not sports

An unidentified person discovered Britain’s largest gold nugget while turning over rocks in a Scottish river. ... A pair of snowmobilers in Utah rescued three puppies that were living inside a sheep carcass on a mountainside. ... A Japanese man was arrested for calling his phone company 24,000 times in eight days. ... A coffee farmer in India painted his dog to look like a tiger in an attempt to scare off monkeys

British people can’t believe how America does healthcare

Midwesterner in New York

This guy built a 90s video store in his basement

A good song

Email dan.gartland@simail.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.