The Houston Rockets surprised the NBA world by defeating the defending champion Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series on Thursday.
While the Rockets are still long shots to dethrone Golden State, it brought the team right back into the series after they lost the first two games in Oakland.
The game itself was relatively ugly. With Stephen Curry out of the second consecutive game, both teams struggled offensively. And in reality, Houston gave Golden State every opportunity to win the game.
It wasn’t until James Harden hit a fade-away from just outside the free-throw line with just over two seconds left that Houston put the game on ice.
The NBA is now calling into question this specific play.
“Houston guard James Harden should have been called for an offensive foul before he hit the game-winning shot in the Rockets’ 97-96 win against the Warriors in Game 3 on Thursday, according to the NBA,” Bay Area News Group’s Diamond Leung reported. “It was incorrect for officials not to call the foul on Harden for initiating contact with defender Andre Iguodala to create space, according to the league. A foul call would have given the Warriors the ball back with a 96-95 lead with five seconds left.”
It’s standard operating procedure for the NBA to point out incorrect calls that have a direct impact on the outcome of games.
We will let you be the judge here:
Debate regarding whether this type of foul should be called in the waning minutes have been front and center since Harden dropped the game-winner.
Left up to individual interpretation, some believe officials should hold their whistles when the game is on the line. While I personally fall under that category, there are others who aren’t quite sure.
At the very least, we now know where the NBA stands on this.
Houston will host Golden State in Game 4 of the series Sunday with a chance to tie it up at two.