Rockets considering protest over James Harden dunk not counting

Rockets upgrade Danuel House Jr. to questionable for Spurs game

In theory, if Harden's dunk was counted, overtime would not be required and the Rockets would have won 117-115.

Midway through the fourth quarter of the Rockets narrow defeat to the San Antonio Spurs, Harden stole the ball and gave himself a free run to the net. Harden slammed the ball so hard that it looped its way back to the cylinder, hence, making it look like it rattled out of the rim.

"We quit playing defense, we quit getting back, we turned it over silly", said D'Antoni, who added he was baffled by Harden's disallowed dunk.

Officials did admit after the game that the shot should have counted.

Afterwards, Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni expressed is disbelief.

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Trey Lyles (41) and center Jakob Poeltl (25) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. "To have a successful field goal it must clear the net". They go 'can't do that.' I don't know.

The confusion was immediate - the referees called basket interference on Harden, arguing it had bounced off the Rockets star. 'As to [whether or not the play could] have been reviewed: it is a reviewable matter, but you have a window of 30 seconds to challenge the play during that timeout that he had and 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'.

Almost four hours after what had been a 7:30 tipoff, Mike D'Antoni couldn't have done a worse job of hiding how he felt as he leaned against the wall adjacent to the visitors' locker room.

To be fair, Harden's "missed" dunk wasn't the only reason Houston fell. "I've got nothing. I can't tell you". The teams replayed the final seconds before their next scheduled game. These are two franchises that find guys other teams overlook and turn them into valuable contributors - three undrafted players started in this game, Kendrick Nunn and Duncan Robinson for Miami, and Fred VanVleet for Toronto.

While Harden went 11-of-38 from the field - and 24-of-24 from the free-throw line - Russell Westbrook was seven-of-30 on his way to a triple-double of 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Per ESPN's Tim McMahon, the Rockets are optimistic that the league will take action as it pertains to the missed call, either retroactively awarding the win to Houston or ordering that the final 7:50 of game time be replayed.

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