The bucket would have put Houston up 104-98, and when you consider that the game went into overtime, one could argue it should never have gotten to that point since the Rockets technically had two more points than the Spurs at the end of regulation.
The Rockets led by 22 in the second half and were up double digits in the fourth quarter for all but the final 4:18.
The confused refs thought that Harden had missed the dunk.
The bad news for the Rockets is we have seen how the league handles blown calls through the Last Two Minute Report: They admit the mistake but change nothing.
While officials ruled the ball did not clear the hoop and even denied Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni the chance to challenge the call, crew chief James Capers said after the game "in fact it did clear the net and should have been a successful field goal".
Capers said that the play was reviewable, but the Rockets eclipsed the 30 second window for challenging the play. Dirk Nowitzki also shot 24-for-24 from the stripe in Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference finals, but playoff games don't count for these records. 'When that happens, that is basket interference. "To have a successful field goal, it must clear the net", he told the pool reporter.
Leading 102-89 at the time, the Rockets went on the surrender their advantage and lost the match 135-133 in overtime. They had a coach's challenge available to try to overturn the call of a missed dunk by Harden - but they waited too long to try to challenge it. 'I heard that they said the ball hit James and went back through, so it was a goaltend on James. "I challenged that, and I didn't get a response", D'Antoni said. Then another guy said it wasn't a goaltend. And I said, "Well, I challenge that". You know, I don't know, to answer your question. "I didn't get an explanation".
With Bryant's performance, he became only the second player to score 80 or more points in an National Basketball Association game.
Ultimately the league made a decision to replay the final 51.9 seconds before their next scheduled meeting, and the Hawks still pulled out a 114-111 win. I said I challenge that.
"We just quit playing defence, we quit getting back, we turned it over silly and didn't get back".
Neither got what they wanted.
Capela had 22 points and 21 rebounds, and Austin Rivers and Russell Westbrook added 19 points each for Houston.
Despite the controversial play, Harden went on to finish with another monster stat line of 50 points, nine rebounds and six assists - following up his 60-point explosion against Atlanta in stylish fashion.