Heat file protest, contend Shaq only committed five fouls vs. Hawks

Updated: December 21, 2007, 8:48 PM ET
Associated Press

MIAMI -- As expected, the Miami Heat formally filed a protest with the NBA on Friday over what they contend was a critical scoring error in Wednesday night's overtime loss at Atlanta.

The issue is whether Shaquille O'Neal actually committed six fouls in the game.

Miami believes O'Neal was only charged with five fouls, and stat sheets distributed immediately after the game showed the same. But those sheets were changed minutes by Atlanta officials after the game ended and the discrepancy was pointed out.

O'Neal was disqualified after the Hawks' official scoring table told referees he committed his sixth foul with 51 seconds remaining in overtime. Miami lost 117-111.

The NBA was aware of the situation before Miami's formal protest was filed. It isn't clear what relief the league could grant in the matter.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press