The NBA's investigation into Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. violating bubble protocol played a role in the team's 4-1 series loss to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA playoffs.
James Harden revealed that the House situation was a distraction for the team and was disappointing as a whole.
#Rockets star James Harden on the Danuel House situation:— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) September 13, 2020
"Very, very disappointing. It affected us. Obviously, we still have to go out there and play a basketball game, and play a series. But it affected us. Obviously, it's a distraction. He was a huge part of our rotation." pic.twitter.com/pWx2GeGkw2
Los Angeles finished off the series with a dominant 119-96 victory in Game 5 and House missed the final three games of the series after the league determined he had broken bubble protocol.
House missed Game 3 due to "personal reasons" and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports later reported the league was investigating him for allegedly allowing a female COVID-19 testing official into his hotel room.
The league's investigation found that he spent several hours with the "unauthorized guest" in his room on Sept. 8. After breaking protocol, House left the bubble.
House's violation was the first major violation of the NBA bubble protocol since it was created in July.