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Rockets win, make playoffs on Harden three, ridiculous Jermaine O’Neal goaltend (VIDEO)

Apr 10, 2013, 12:50 AM EDT

Phoenix Suns v Houston Rockets Getty Images

This may be the most ridiculous ending to a game this season.

Not what the Rockets did — with seven seconds left in a 98-98 game they went to the old “isolate your best player out high” and James Harden dribbled it out then pulled up for a three. Which was short and bounced high. It looked like overtime.

Then Jermaine O’Neal inexplicably knocked the bounce off the rim. It was goaltending, on a shot that very likely bounces out anyway, but the referees review it, make the right call and the Rockets win.

Combine that with the Jazz loss and the Rockets lock up a playoff spot for the first time since 2009. Making the dance for a team that shook things up and got Harden just as the season started is a great first step. Enjoy the champagne and celebrate a little, Houston.

  1. moseskkim - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:59 AM

    Congrats Houston! Amazing year for harden, great year for asik, breakout year for parsons and a surprisingly consistent and effective year for Lin. Also props to great coach mchale and gm morey. Houston’s gonna get bounced 1st round but this is something to build on along with their massive cap space in the offseason.

  2. asimonetti88 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    No idea what JO was thinking. Dude has been around for a long time, he should know better than that.

  3. eventhorizon04 - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    Very unwise decision by O’Neal, a guy with 17 seasons of experience.

    The only silver lining to this is that at this point of the season, the Suns benefit more from losses than wins since defeats improve their odds in the draft lottery. Likewise, the Rockets have more or less clinched the 7th seed and are just a game behind the Warriors for the 6th seed.

    Still, it was a disappointing way to end a competitive game that the Suns very much could have won.

  4. livepredictor - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:11 AM

    Jermaine has been playing solid ball of late…but back to the STORY…Do NOT sleep on this team..saying it now BEFORE the playoffs start! Rockets have a underrated bench!

  5. blazertop - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:09 AM

    Suns have been tough for Rockets all year. Good thing they won’t have to face them in the playoffs.

  6. metalhead65 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    wait somebody is still over paying jermaine o’niel to be on their team?

  7. flyrocket31 - Apr 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Things are finally going the Rockets way, not many injuries and getting some luck with our talent. hopefully a long playoff run! GO ROCKETS!

  8. 00maltliquor - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Finally! H-Town back in it! After years of just barely missing it, they finally get over the hump!
    I’ll be the first to admit, I was wrong about James Harden. He deserves that contract. He’s big time.

    • bougin89 - Apr 10, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      I agree. I was also wrong on James Harden. Definitely deserved that max contract.

  9. 00maltliquor - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    J.O. …. what a ‘tard!!!!!! That’s a ROOKIE mistake!! Baaah hahahahaa! I can’t believe he did that

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