With 7:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Houston Rockets held a 13-point lead when James Harden attempted a breakaway one-hand dunk. Although the shot when through the hoop, the referees overturned the dunk after the ball bounced back through the basket.
At the time, the decision made by the refs did not seem like a huge deal, but the botched call played a tremendous role in the Rockets’ 135-133 double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
The reversed call inside the AT&T Center began a string of bad luck for the Rockets. The Spurs closed the quarter on a 26-10 run led by their second-year guard, Lonnie Walker iv, who scored 19 of his 28 points to force overtime (eight straight to close the game).
Although it was a game-changer, the missed call was not the only reason Houston came out on the losing end. By the time the call was made, the Rockets were already in danger of blowing a comfortable lead that grew to 22-point during the third quarter.
The refs wouldn’t give James Harden this bucket!— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 4, 2019
He still finished with 50 PTS
It was a rough offensive night for the Rockets (37.5% FG, 29.4% 3PT), as Houston only received a solid performance from Austin river who scored 19 points on 75/83/100 shooting splits.
Despite scoring a game-high 50 points in the loss, it was an inefficient shooting night for Harden. He shot a lousy 11-for-38 (28%) from the floor, 4-for-20 (20%) from deep, but set a franchise record shooting 24-for-24 from the charity stripe.
Harden did not receive much help from his all-star backcourt mate Russell Westbrook, who shot 7-for-30 (23.3%) from the field, 1-for-6 (16.6%) on 3-point field goal attempts. However, numbers can be deceiving as Westbrook did finish the night with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss.
After missing the previous two games due to an illness, Clint Capela picked up where he left off with 22 points and 21 rebounds against the Spurs.
With 1:40 left in the second overtime, Houston had their chance up to the final minute to close out the game with a win. They held a 131-128 lead before Bryn Forbes hit a triple for San Antonio to even up the score. Both teams traded free-throws that ended with DeMar DeRozan—who recorded 23 points, nine assists and five rebounds— carried the Spurs to a win from the in the final 20 seconds.
Before fouling out, Bryn Forbes played a huge role in the Spurs comeback win over the rockets with 25 points while shooting 5-for-6 from behind the arc. With LaMarcus Aldridge missing his second straight game, Jakob Poeltl stepped up big for San Antonio with 15 rebounds in the win.
After a disappointing loss, the Rockets will look to bounce on Thursday, when they take on the defending NBA champs, Toronto Raptors inside the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Tip-off is slated for 6:30 P.M. C.T.