ATLANTA - For the first time since 1982, the NBA is sending two teams back for a do-over.
The Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat must replay the final 51.9 seconds of their game last month because the scorer ruled incorrectly that Shaquille O'Neal fouled out, the league said yesterday.
The Hawks won, 117-111, at home in overtime Dec. 19, but strike that one from the books. For now, playoff-contending Atlanta has one fewer win, while the Heat have one fewer loss.
"We're human. We make mistakes," Hawks owner Michael Gearon said. "There certainly wasn't anything malicious about it. We have one of the most senior scoring staffs in the league." "
The NBA said the replay will be held before Miami's next visit to Atlanta March 8. Play will start from the time after O'Neal's disputed sixth foul, with the Hawks leading, 114-111.
"Wait a minute! I picked up a win today, or lost a loss," Heat coach Pat Riley quipped.
The Hawks also were fined $50,000, with commissioner David Stern ruling the team was "grossly negligent" in failing to address the mistake.
A foul that was called on Udonis Haslem was mistakenly credited to O'Neal.
The protest is the first granted by the NBA since December 1982, when then-NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien upheld a request for a replay by the Spurs after their 137-132 double-OT loss to the Lakers. They finished the game in April 1983, with San Antonio winning, 117-114.