James Harden's dunk vs. Spurs should have counted, refs confirm

Michael Reaves  Getty Images

Michael Reaves Getty Images

Is James Harden's phantom dunk enough to get the final minutes of the Rockets' loss replayed?

The Houston Rockets are looking for the National Basketball Association to take action after officials blew a call on a James Harden dunk during the Rockets' loss 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs Tuesday night.

In the Rockets loss to the Spurs, Houston was led on offense by James Harden. Officials ruled the ball didn't clear the cylinder, but crew chief James Capers said after the game that, "in fact it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal".

At the time, the Rockets protested on the sidelines, but failed to call for a video review of the play within the 30-second window allowed. The botched call crushed Houston's momentum. Then another guy said it wasn't a goaltend.

"It was confidence", Walker IV said, via Kelly Iko of The Athletic.

Goaltending and out of bounds plays can be challenged, but the explanation by the lead official James Capers after the game is D'Antoni took too long to make his challenge. They go 'can't do that.' I don't know. However, replays showed that the ball came back over the rim after clearing through the net.

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Afterwards Harden's teammate Russell Westbrook seemed to put the incident behind him: 'S*** happens, plain and simple'. It will be an interesting next couple of days for the Houston Rockets and the league overall. On Tuesday, a fan in San Antonio yelled to Harden that "no one wants to see a free-throw shooting contest" when Harden was at the line. Bryn Forbes tied it at 131 with a 3-pointer, and the teams traded free throws the remainder of the game. Houston out rebounded San Antonio, 60 to 56.

Slovenian prodigy Doncic finished with 33 points, a career-high 18 rebounds and five assists in just three quarters of action as the Mavs improved to 14-6 in the Western Conference standings.

San Antonio responded with a group effort to beat the Rockets four days after knocking off the Los Angeles Clippers at home. "They got hot, made shots and we just didn't do anything to combat it". "So, hopefully, we're starting to figure that out".

The Spurs went on a 10-2 run to close the deficit to eight points after Harden's mishap. After the Lakers got their heads handed to them by Luka Doncic and the Mavericks on Sunday, the theme in the L.A. locker room postgame was that the Lakers needed to play a full 48 minutes - not flip the switch in the third quarter - against the better teams. "He can do some things a lot of us can't".

The ball went through the net before getting caught up and flying back above the rim. Then Derrick White was inserted into the starting lineup on December 9th and the Spurs went 9-3 over the rest of the month to reinsert themselves into the playoff picture.

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