After a tumultuous start to the 2019-2020 season, the Spurs are showing they still have a pulse. The team is on a two game win streak after home victories against Houston 135-133 in double overtime and Sacramento 105-104.
The win against Houston was not without controversy. With 7:50 to go in the fourth quarter and Houston holding a solid 104-89 lead, James Harden appeared to miss a breakaway one hand dunk. The ball whipped through the net and back over the rim before bouncing off, and the officiating crew mistakenly ruled that Harden missed the dunk and denied Houston coach Mike D'Antoni's attempt to challenge the call. The Spurs then rallied to not only tie the game but forced two overtimes and ultimately won by two points. The Rockets subsequently protested the loss on the basis that Harden's dunk not being counted as a basket was a misapplication of rules resulting in an incorrect score and not a judgment call by officials.
On Monday, the NBA announced that it denied the Rockets appeal. Commissioner Adam Silver determined that the Rockets had sufficient time to overcome the error "during the remainder of the fourth quarter and two subsequent overtime periods and thus the extraordinary remedy of granting a game protest was not warranted."
For historical context, the NBA has granted only three protests filed by teams in league history.
The Spurs are now 9-14 and third in the division behind Dallas and Houston. Despite the lackluster start the team is still just two games behind Phoenix for the eighth and final playoff spot in the ultra competitive Western Conference.
A championship parade may not be in the cards for the Spurs this year but at stake is a league leading 22 season consecutive playoff streak. Can the Spurs build on this streak and make a playoff run to another Larry O’Brien trophy?
Stranger things have happened.
Thu, December 12 vs Cleveland (5-18) 730pm
*Sat, December 14 vs Phoenix (11-12) 4pm (NBATV)
Mon, December 16 @ Houston 7pm
*Game will played in Mexico City at a neutral site