Sure its understandable that it would have been less than ideal for the game to have been re-played, but it also has left a black eye on the league's handling of team protests considering that they essentially agreed with the Houston Rockets but chose to deny the protest.
Ahead of the Rockets' game against the Sacramento Kings, D'Antoni said he was ready to move on from the controversy. Although the Rockets ended up losing the game in double overtime by a score of 135-133, it was clear that the additional two points would have made a significant difference in the outcome of the game.
"If the coach's challenge requested by Houston had been properly granted, instant replay would have shown that Harden's dunk was a successful field goal", the league added in its news release. Because Houston called the timeout in this case, it was entitled to challenge the basket interference call upon being informed of it by the game officials. The official team denied the challenge of Mike D & # 39; Antoni because the time limit of 30 seconds from the start of the waiting time was over, but that limit only applies after a mandatory waiting time or waiting time called by the opposite team. Adam Silver rejected the rocket's proposal and noted that although the rule was misapplied and a mistake made by the referees, the missiles had plenty of time to overcome the mistake and still win the title game.
This missed call occurred when Houston was on the Spurs for 13 years and they were not given a challenge by the trainer because they did not trigger the challenge log within the 30 second time frame provided.
"We had plenty of chances to win the game", he said.
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Make no mistake, the Rockets ultimately lost due to their porous defense, but in that moment, a dunk may have very well sunk a rally from the Spurs and propelled Houston to a win.
The NBA has only granted three protests filed by teams in league history.
The league also announced that it had disciplined the three referees in that game for misapplying the coach's challenge rule.
D'Antoni was unhappy that the officials were disciplined.
"As a follow-up to the National Basketball Association investigation into this matter, the National Basketball Association will work with the competition committee to develop additional procedures to help prevent the situation with the basket made from Harden from happening again", the league statement said.