NBA Crew Chief explains why James Harden’s controversial dunk did not count

04 Décembre, 2019, 14:19 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Michael Reaves  Getty Images

In the fourth quarter of a game that went off the rails down the strech and throughout two overtimes, referees missed a call on a breakaway dunk by Rockets star James Harden because the ball went back onto the rim after passing through the net.

The home side then blew a 10-point lead with four minutes of normal time to play to lose after double overtime.

San Antonio second year player Lonnie Walker had a breakout night, dropping in a team-high 28 points.

At the time, Houston led the Spurs 102-89 with less than eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Officiating crew chief James Capers said postgame that the call was reviewable, but that the Rockets did not challenge it within the allowed 30-second window. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni says he tried challenging the call but wasn't able to. The botched call crushed Houston's momentum.

Harden also was called for two charges in the second overtime.

"It was confidence", Walker said.

As bad as the call was, I'd be shocked if the league changed the call and forced a replay (they certainly are not just going to give the Rockets the win, the end of the game would have played out with differently if the Rockets were ahead).

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"I don't know, to answer your question. I've got nothing, I can't tell you".

Houston coach Mike D'Antoni was irate over the call and for good reason - the Spurs were in the midst of rallying from 22-points down, eventually forcing two overtime periods and a stunning victory.

"They played faster but more sense of urgency than we did, especially being up", Houston point guard Russell Westbrook said. And there's no way you can guarantee Houston would've won that game had that basket counted. The 30-second rule is being used as a cover.

Time and score is everything in a basketball game.

Capela had 22 points and 21 rebounds, and Austin Rivers and Westbrook added 19 points apiece for Houston. The referees missed this and needed to prioritize getting the call right. The group outscored the Rockets 17-9 to close the first quarter to put San Antonio up 27-25.

"This is a team that we think we have, we've just got to play like this consistently and we haven't really done that", San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

Forbes added 25 points, Jakob Poeltl had 15 rebounds, five blocks and five assists, and Rudy Gay added 14 points in 23 minutes. Harden's runner bounded off the backboard and rim as the first overtime ended.

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