Spurs pip Rockets despite Harden half-century

Tanya Simon
December 4, 2019

Houston Rockets' All-NBA guard James Harden was up to his usual trick on Tuesday night in San Antonio, as he went off for 50 points, including a flawless 24-of-24 from the free throw line.

Harden was wide open after getting a steal, slamming the ball through the hoop - but there was a twist. "I'm just happy that we played team ball and we got this win". The Rockets led until the final minute, when San Antonio erased a six-point deficit to force overtime.

The Rockets would like the league office to either award the victory to them due to Houston outscoring the Spurs during regulation or order that the final seven minutes and 50 seconds be replayed at a later date.

The league ruling to simply give the win to Houston seems highly unlikely, as does going back and replaying seven minutes of a game at some point later in the season.

MacMahon also reports the team is prepared to file a protest but believe such a step won't be necessary.

Houston was leading 102-89 in the fourth quarter when Harden dunked on a breakaway.

Officiating crew chief James Capers said postgame that the call was reviewable, but that the Rockets did not challenge it within the allowed 30-second window. "So therefore, it elapsed, and they were not able to do it".

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"I have no idea", D'Antoni replied when asked why the shot hadn't counted.

"I challenged that, and I didn't get a response". Then another guy said it wasn't a goaltend. And I said, 'Well, I challenge that.' Can't do that.

Every day in the National Basketball Association there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the National Basketball Association. "I've got nothing, I can't tell you". Since the game ultimately went to overtime, those two points were very much impactful. The Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks were forced to redo the ending of a game four months later after it was ruled Shaquille O'Neal did not foul out of a game in which he was sent off from.

Prior to Tuesday's tilt, there had been only three instances of a player shooting worse than 40% from the field while still scoring 50 or more points.

Ultimately the league chose to replay the final 51.9 seconds before their next scheduled meeting, and the Hawks still pulled out a 114-111 win. Tuesday's game took place in San Antonio.

Nevertheless, the Rockets definitely have a case in protesting the blown call.

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