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Rockets will likely protest loss to Spurs

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After a missed call on a James Harden dunk, Houston wants the league to reverse the outcome of a game.

NBA: Houston Rockets at San Antonio Spurs Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this is certainly a story.

The Houston Rockets are leaning towards filing a protest with the NBA after a double overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday night.

The reason? A breakaway dunk by James Harden that swung through the net and out, tricking the refs into believing that he’d missed the attempt.

Houston was up by 13 points at the time, with under eight minutes remaining. But the Spurs came storming back at home to tie the game, ultimately winning 135-133 after ten extra minutes of play.

You can see Houston’s frustration. Harden objectively made the bucket, and the referee’s reasoning for not allowing the call to be challenged was a little bit odd.

“It is a reviewable matter, but you have a window of 30 seconds to challenge the play during that timeout that he had, and while they were protesting the call, trying to get clarification of it, that window passed,” explained crew chief James Capers. That’s a rough explanation - basically saying that the refs couldn’t clarify what happened in time for Houston to actually challenge it.

Still. Houston is so upset about the lost two points that they are leaning towards protesting the outcome, hoping that the league will reverse the outcome (spoiler: they won’t), or replay the final minutes of the game.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon first reported the Rockets plans.

As wildly frustrating as the missed call must be, a protest is a bit silly. There are plenty of missed calls every single game, and the butterfly effect in basketball is such that you can’t just give the Rockets two more points and assume they would have won the game.

But as Golden State Warriors fans know, Houston has a knack for complaining about being on the unfair side of things. So while you can likely sympathize, it’s still pretty darn funny.