Why Spurs Will Win Even if Rockets Protest James Harden’s Dunk

Carrie Guzman
December 4, 2019

Harden had a breakaway dunk with 7:50 remaining in the game that would have given the Rockets a 104-89 lead. Harden took a few dribbles before elevating above the paint for a one-handed finish. The ball appeared to have cleared the cylinder but because the netting got caught on the rim the ball bounced backward and went out of bounds resulting in a turnover.

I'm not buying that, even though the timing issue is likely what the league falls back on to retain the game's outcome. As Lonnie himself attested after the game, it was a full team win that wouldn't have been possible without consistent energy from the moment the ball went up. The Rockets star then pleaded to referees that the ball went through the net.

"I heard that they said the ball hit James and went back through, so it was a goaltend on James".

"I challenged that, and I didn't get a response". Some are calling for Butler to score more and lift up the Heat offense that way, but this kind of game - where he distributes and gets others involved, then takes over when he needs to - is exactly what the Heat need out of him. And I said, 'Well, I challenge that.' Can't do that. I know what I can and cannot do. "I didn't get an explanation". Walker finished with a career-high 28 points and scored 18 of those points in the fourth quarter - including eight straight to close the game and force overtime.

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Asked if the Trump administration was willing to roll back current tariffs on China, Ross added: "It all depends on their behavior between now and then".

Harden had six points in the second overtime, including a follow of Clint Capela's missed free throw with 1:41 remaining to put Houston up 131-128. There's no doubt a two-point greater cushion would've benefitted Houston, but letting a 22-point lead melt away to a 7-14 Spurs team can't be boiled down to one missed call. Bryn Forbes tied it at 131 with a 3-pointer, and the teams traded free throws the remainder of the game.

"We have looked at the play and Harden dunked it so hard that the net carried back over the rim a second time and should have been a successful field goal". Capers also admitted the shot should have counted. 'When that happens, that is basket interference.

Prior to Tuesday's tilt, there had been only three instances of a player shooting worse than 40% from the field while still scoring 50 or more points.

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.

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