The team will reportedly argue the referees' refusal to recognize James Harden's made dunk in the fourth quarter constituted a "misapplication of rules."
In the incident in question, Harden dunked with such force that the ball swung back up around the outside of the rim after passing through the hoop and getting caught in the net. Officials erroneously ruled it a missed attempt and did not allow Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni to challenge the decision.
At the time, the Rockets led 102-89 with 7:50 remaining in the contest. However, San Antonio erased the 13-point deficit after the controversy and sent the game into overtime twice before earning the 135-133 win.
Houston has been considering a protest since the culmination of the double-overtime loss. The Rockets were apparently hoping the NBA would intercede without a formal filing, either by allowing the teams to replay the final 7:50 of regulation or by awarding Houston the win outright, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
The Rockets are filing the protest as a precaution; teams only have 48 hours to file a protest following the end of a game and Houston wants to ensure the league will take action. The Rockets' hope is that the NBA will allow the teams to replay the final 7:50 of regulation, MacMahon notes.
The NBA has previously replayed ends of games following successful protests. The Miami Heat and Atlanta Hawks replayed the final 52 seconds of a game in the 2007-08 season after Shaquille O'Neal was mistakenly assessed a sixth foul in an eventual Miami loss. The Heat protested but failed to win the do-over months later.