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Rockets lose protest of misapplied Coach’s Challenge Rule on James Harden’s dunk

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) questions a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) questions a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. San Antonio won 135-133 in double overtime. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (AP Photo)

HOUSTON – NBA commissioner Adam Silver has denied the Rockets protest of their 135-133 double overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Dec.3.

The NBA completed its investigation after submissions from both teams and announced its decision Monday.

The Rockets had argued the game officials misapplied the playing rules and not granting a Coach’s Challenge after James Harden’s fourth quarter dunk, which was ruled not to have gone in the basket but replays clearly showed the ball went through the net and came back out with 7:50 remaining in the game. Silver agreed with the Rockets that the officials misapplied the rule by not allowing the challenge but said the Rockets had sufficient time to overcome the error during the remainder of the game and the subsequent overtime periods.

All three game officials from the game, however, were disciplined for misapplying the Coach’s Challenge rule.