Rockets clinch spot in 2013 NBA playoffsPosted by Inside Hoops
Jermaine O’Neal saw James Harden’s last-second 3-pointer bounce off the rim, went up for it and figured Phoenix and Houston were headed to overtime.
Referee David Jones saw goaltending and counted the basket that gave the Rockets a 101-98 victory on Tuesday night.
Harden scored 33 points and Omer Asik tied his career high with 22 rebounds for the Rockets, who earned their first playoff berth since 2009 when the Jazz lost to Oklahoma City.
”It’s a great accomplishment for us,” said Harden, acquired from Oklahoma City in an offseason trade. ”For our first year together, it’s a pretty good thing.”
On the final play, Harden dribbled down the clock with P.J. Tucker guarding him and launched a 3 from the wing. It bounced high off the rim and O’Neal and Houston’s Patrick Beverley jumped for the rebound. O’Neal touched the ball and the rim after the ball came down, just after the buzzer sounded.
The referees huddled on the court, then reviewed the play and ruled it the winning basket, setting off a wild celebration.
– Reported by the Associated Press