NBA Denies Rockets' Protest of Loss to Spurs

Michael Shapiro

The NBA denied the Rockets' protest of their Dec. 3 loss to the Spurs on Monday. 

Houston protested their loss in San Antonio on Dec. 6 after referees did not allow a James Harden dunk attempt in the fourth quarter. Harden appeared to dunk the ball through the net, but the basket was not counted after the ball went back through the net and over the rim.

Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni was not allowed to challenge the play, and the disallowed dunk was not reviewed. Houston still had a double-digit advantage in the fourth quarter after the officiating error, but surrendered its lead before losing the game in double overtime.

"While agreeing that the referees misapplied the rules, Commissioner Silver determined that the Rockets had sufficient time to overcome the error during the remainder of the fourth quarter and two subsequent overtime periods," the NBA said in a statement on Monday.

The NBA announced it has disciplined the three officials from the Dec. 3 matchup for "misapplying the Coach's Challenge rule." The nature of their discipline has not been announced.

The Rockets record will stay at 15–7 following Monday's ruling from the league office. They will next face the Spurs on Dec. 16 as the two teams battle in Houston.