Houston, TX (NNCNOW.com) --- James Harden threw up a 3-pointer as time expired that bounced innocently off the rim, and the game was headed to overtime. But referee David Jones saw goaltending and counted the basket that gave the Rockets a 101-98 win on Tuesday night.
For head coach and Hibbing, Minn. native Kevin McHale and his Rockets, it's their first playoff berth since 2009. Harden scored 33 points including the game-winning bucket and Omer Asik tied his career high with 22 rebounds for the Rockets.
On the final shot, Phoenix's Jermaine O'Neal was going for the rebound alongside of Houston's Patrick Beverly. But it was O'Neal's arm that touched the ball while it was in the cylinder. The call was ruled a goaltend, giving the Rockets the three-point win.
Houston returns to action on Friday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m. to host Memphis.
Posted by Sarah Wheeler