What happens if Mavericks' protest of Warriors loss is successful?

Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban
Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Golden State Warriors 127-125 on Wednesday night in the biggest game of their season. The defending champions grabbed a key game in the standings and the season series over Dallas with the victory. They now own the tiebreaker if the two teams end up with identical records at the close of the regular season.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made it clear that the team would protest the result of the contest on March 22. As he explained on Twitter, with 1:54 left in the third quarter, the Mavs believed they had possession before a timeout. After the break, the referees awarded the ball to the Warriors, and they scored an easy basket as Dallas was not prepared. Fans can watch the play here.

Cuban is willing to put his money on the line by protesting the perceived injustice. Here is a look at what goes into an official protest, the chances Dallas is successful, and what would happen if the Mavericks win.

What happens if the Dallas Mavericks' protest of Warriors loss is successful?

ESPN’s Bobby Marks shared the rules of filing a protest on Twitter. Doing so will cost Cuban $10,000, which he will get back if it is successful. The Mavericks have five days to provide evidence of the mistake, and the league will rule within five days of getting that evidence.

Winning a protest is extremely rare. It last happened in 2008, and there had not been a successful one since 1982 before the Heat won.

The Mavericks unsuccessfully filed a protest in 2020, and owner Mark Cuban was fined $50,000 as a result of that one.

What would happen if this protest is successful? The NBA would force the teams to go back and play the game from the time of the mistake. In this case, there would be 1:54 left in the third quarter, and it would be the Warriors' ball under their basket up 88-87. Nothing that happened after that moment would count, and the Mavericks would have a second chance to defeat the Dubs in Dallas.

The officials seemed certain of the call, though. Crew chief Sean Wright made it clear in the pool report that the initial signal was Warriors ball, and the second signal was timeout Mavs. That hampers the chances of a successful Dallas Mavericks protest, but fans must wait for the official word in the coming days. 

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