NBA Rumors: Rockets May Have Tried to Avoid League Rule With Ref Complaints

The Houston Rockets clearly have an issue with the officiating in the NBA playoffs, especially when it comes to their games against the Warriors. 

James Harden and Co. were hopping mad following their 104-100 loss to Golden State in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday, and a report by The Athletic revealed the Rockets have had a problem dating back to their loss to the Dubs in the 2018 Western Conference finals.

A subsequent report by ESPN divulged the Rockets had put together a memo saying the officials cost them the 2018 NBA title. While the Rockets never sent the memo, the team reportedly voiced their findings with the league via "in-person meetings," according to ESPN. 

Some NBA sources reportedly believe this particular brand of griping might have been a way to go around NBA rules by not looping the Warriors in on their complaints, The Athletic's Zach Harper reported Tuesday. 

According to The Athletic, the NBA sent out a memo to all teams prior to the playoffs reminding them that "the process for raising 'competition-related matters' that include officiating matters need to be shared with their opponent." The need to loop in the opponent is the league's way of being transparent when it comes to reviewing fouls, no calls, etc. Whenever a complaint is made, the opponent is included in the conversation, according to The Athletic.

[RELATED: Warriors, Rockets have history with Game 2 referee]

As it pertains to the Warriors and the Rockets, the Dubs were made aware of Houston's complaints last year but didn't think much of it until it resurfaced Monday, Harper reported.

For the Rockets, they clearly want so badly to beat the Warriors that they are set on finding any advantage -- no matter how small -- to level the playing field with the Bay's superteam.

But it looks like they might have gone over the line this time. 

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