In the NBA’s Western Conference, where just three games separate the No. 4 and No. 12 seeds, every game counts.
For the Dallas Mavericks — and team governor Mark Cuban — make that every bucket.
The Mavs fell to the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night, 127-125, in a game that pushed Dallas into the No. 9 seed, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers and just a half-game ahead of fellow play-in contenders the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans.
But the Mavs will file a protest of the loss, Cuban told ESPN’s Tim MacMahon Wednesday night, after what the team believes to be an officiating error late in the third quarter, when confusion about which team had possession of the ball led to an uncontested dunk by Warriors center Kevon Looney.
Despite Cuban deeming it the “worst officiating non call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA”, history is not on Dallas’ side when it comes to successful protests. It’s only happened six times in NBA history, and only once in the past 41 years.
MORE: What’s next for the Mavericks’ protest?
Nov. 28, 1952: Milwaukee Hawks vs. Philadelphia Warriors
The Hawks had only four eligible players left due to disqualifications but were incorrectly allowed to bring in a fifth player. They won the game 78-77 in double overtime.
The protest resulted in the game being completely replayed on March 11, 1953, in Pittsburgh. The Warriors won 72-69 … in overtime.
Famously known as the Phantom Buzzer Game, a tip-in at the buzzer was not counted after the officials disagreed on whether the buzzer sounded before the field goal occurred.
The game was restarted with one second left and the game tied at 124. The Hawks went on to win by five points in overtime.
Breaking down the Mavs’ protest of game vs. Warriors
Malika Andrews and the NBA crew break down a bizarre sequence where the Mavs don’t play defense vs. the Warriors, resulting in two points in a game Dallas loses 127-125.
The last four seconds of this game was replayed on Feb. 1, 1972, after the Cavaliers successfully protested they did not receive the full benefit of a timeout.
The result of the game remained the same, with the Braves winning by one point.
Referee Richie Powers called three technical fouls on Nets head coach Kevin Loughery, exceeding the limit of two.
The final 17:50 of the game – which also featured Bernard King, Phil Jackson and Julius Irving — was replayed on March 23, 1979.
Here comes the fun part: These teams actually made a trade with each other in the span between the original game and the replay. Because of this, Eric Money, Harvey Catchings and Ralph Simpson ended up playing for both the Nets and 76ers — the only players in NBA history to hit the court for both teams in the same game, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Nov. 30, 1982: Los Angeles Lakers vs. San Antonio Spurs
A double lane violation was called after Norm Nixon failed to release the ball on a free throw attempt, resulting in a jump ball. It should have been a non-call, and Nixon should have attempted the free throw. The Lakers won the jump ball, tied the game and won in double overtime.
The game was resumed on April 13, 1983 with the Spurs leading 116-114 with three seconds left and Nixon attempting the free throw. San Antonio won the game by three points.
Dec. 19, 2007: Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks
Shaquille O’Neal was incorrectly ruled to have six fouls when he had only five. The game was resumed on March 8, 2008, but no one scored in the 51.9 seconds that was replayed from overtime.
The Hawks won, 114-111, as O’Neal didn’t play — he was traded to the Suns before the game was resumed.