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Houston Rockets

NBA denies Houston Rockets' protest of double-overtime loss to San Antonio Spurs

The NBA today announced that Commissioner Adam Silver has denied the Houston Rockets' protest over the result of their 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs last week.

The Rockets argued that the officials misapplied the playing rules by not granting a Coaches Challenge to Mike D'Antoni in regards to James Harden's fourth-quarter dunk, which cost the Rockets two points.

With the Rockets leading 102-89 with 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, Harden threw down a dunk that came out of the net and bounced up off the rim, appearing to miss.

The NBA explained in a statement that the ball was "dunked with such force that, as it cleared the net, the ball was propelled around the basket and upward, creating an initial appearance that it was not a successful field goal."

While agreeing that the officials "misapplied the playing rules" it was determined that the Rockets, who were still leading by 13 points, had sufficient time during the remainder of the fourth quarter and ensuing overtime periods to overcome the error.

The officials ruled basket interference after the ball had gone through the hoop. D'Antoni protested the call, however he missed the 30-second window to issue the coaches challenge.

Houston had hoped to have the final 7:50 of the game replayed or have the result overturned.

The league also announced that all three officials from the game had been disciplined for misapplying the Coach's Challenge rule and as a result of the investigation, the NBA will work with the Competition Committee to ensure there is no repeat of the Harden incident.

Ahead of the Rockets' game against the Sacramento Kings, D'Antoni said he was ready to move on from the controversy.

"I didn't think we were going to win. It is what it is. I'm not going to comment on it, I mean, it's no use, [we] just go on," D'Antoni said, expressing his sympathy for the three officials who worked the game.

"I hate it for them. They just made a mistake, I mean we all make mistakes, so I hate it. That's probably the worst part of it. They're trying to get it right and I'm sure all good intentions and just didn't work out."

The Rockets will take on the Spurs again on December 16 in Houston.

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