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NBA denies Mavs’ protest of loss to Rockets

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NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA has denied the Dallas Mavericks’ protest of their 116-108 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets last month.

The Mavericks argued that the referees had improperly called a technical foul on center Erick Dampier following an instant replay review with 1:01 left in overtime of the Dec. 18 game. Because it was Dampier’s second technical foul, he was ejected.

However, commissioner David Stern ruled Tuesday that the decision to give Dampier a technical was a judgment call, not a misapplication of the rules, and can’t be protested under NBA rules.

Cuban wanted the final 1:01 replayed, but wasn’t surprised by the decision.

“That’s what I expected,” Cuban said Tuesday night prior to the Mavericks’ game against the Detroit Pistons. “But if the same thing happens, I’ll protest it again. It is worth talking to the Board of Governors about.”

The league will rule later this month on a protest the Atlanta Hawks filed because of a shot clock error in their loss at Cleveland last week.