What happens to Warriors if Mavs' protest deemed successful?


The Warriors and Dallas Mavericks were involved in perhaps the strangest play of the 2022-23 NBA season on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

With less than two minutes to play in the third quarter, the Mavericks came out of a timeout on the wrong side of the court, thinking it was their ball. Instead, the possession belonged to Golden State, and Warriors guard Jordan Poole received the basketball from the referee and tossed it to a wide-open Kevon Looney under the basket, who dunked it home for an easy two points.

Shortly afterward, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told ESPN's Jeff Van Gundy, who was broadcasting the game, of his plans to dispute the play.

“Cuban came over at the [end of the] quarter and basically was saying that it was mismanaged," Van Gundy said Thursday on “The Lowe Post” podcast. "He told me, and I said it on the air because he told me to say it -- he wanted it out there -- that if they lost by two points or less that they were going to protest.”

Sure enough, the Warriors squeaked out a 127-125 victory over the Mavericks, and more reports after the game indicated Cuban planned to file a formal protest.

Submitting a formal protest to the league office comes with $10,000 fee, and must be filed within 48 hours after the conclusion of the game [h/t Bobby Marks]. The Mavericks have the next five days to provide evidence to the NBA, and the decision will be made by commissioner Adam Silver five days after the receipt of evidence.

If the protest is deemed successful, the Warriors’ win would be wiped off the standings and the game would be replayed from the time the disputed play occurred. Golden State would make another trip to Dallas, and the game would resume with the Warriors leading 88-87 with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter.

Now, it’s very unlikely the Mavericks will win the protest.

There has only been one successful protest in the NBA since the 1982-83 season. On Dec. 19, 2007, Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal fouled out of a game against the Atlanta Hawks with 51.9 seconds remaining in overtime.

The Heat filed a protest afterward, stating there was a bookkeeping error and O’Neal actually only committed five fouls in the game, which would have allowed him to play the final 51.9 seconds.

RELATED: How GP2 already has made impact on Warriors before playing

The NBA upheld Miami’s protest, and the Heat and Hawks replayed the final 51.9 seconds prior to another matchup later that season. The Heat won the protest, but the Hawks still won the game 114-111.

The odds are not in Cuban's favor. The play Wednesday night was an error in communication from officials, not a bookkeeping error.

“There’s no way Mark Cuban wins the protest,” Van Gundy said to Lowe. “But he has every right, as does his team, to be upset.”

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