The Rockets are awaiting word back from the NBA after filing a protest with the league office over their Friday night loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles, the Houston Chronicle has reported, citing a person with knowledge of the filing.
Clippers guard Jawun Evans should have fouled out with 3:10 to play, but teammate Lou Williams was instead cited for a foul. The NBA confirmed through a spokesman that the issue was an error by the officials, the Chronicle reported. The Rockets lost 128-118 but were within three points when the mistake was made.
Houston, which had a 14-game winning streak snapped by the Lakers on Wednesday, lost consecutive games for just the second time this season.
Austin Rivers scored a career-high 36 points with six 3-pointers, and the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers withstood James Harden’s second straight 51-point performance to beat the Houston Rockets 128-118 on Friday night.
The Clippers were fueled by Austin Rivers, who scored 30 of his career-high 36 points in the second half. James Harden led Houston with his second consecutive 51-point game.
After the win, the Clippers raved about the defense of Evans on Harden despite his big night.
“Jawun was probably my favorite player tonight … the stuff he did down the stretch, irritating him, playing defense was special,” Rivers said. “So for Jawun to be a rookie, 5-foot-10, 5-11 … 160 pounds guarding probably the MVP this year. Come on, man. That was incredible.”
Clippers coach Doc Rivers agreed and said: “I thought his defensive pressure gave us time to get back out on all their other shooters.”
According to the Chronicle, the last time the NBA ruled in favor of a protest was in 2008, when the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat replayed the final 51 seconds of a game in which Shaquille O’Neal fouled out with five fouls rather than six.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.