NBA regular season

Knicks filing protest over last-second foul call in loss to Rockets – report


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Knicks filing protest over last-second foul call in loss to Rockets – report

CONTENTIOUS. Rockets forward Amen Thompson (right) attempts to get a rebound away from Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (center) as Josh Hart looks on.

Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports/Reuter

The controversial Knicks-Rockets game may be resumed to play from the incorrect call – if the protest proves to be successful – just like in 2007 when the Heat-Hawks game resumed several months later to play the last 51.9 seconds

The New York Knicks filed a protest with the league to dispute Monday’s 105-103 loss to the host Houston Rockets, citing concerns about the validity of the last-second foul call that made the scoring difference, according to a report Tuesday, February 13, by ESPN.

In the closing moments of Monday’s game, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson pulled New York even by hitting a 15-foot jumper with 8.7 seconds remaining. Aaron Holiday then attempted a desperation heave just before the buzzer, and Brunson was called for a foul on the play.

Holiday broke the tie by sinking two free throws with 0.3 seconds remaining and intentionally missing the third to play out the clock.

The game crew’s chief, Ed Malloy, acknowledged after the game that the foul was an incorrect call, as did the league’s Last Two Minute Report (L2M) report, a play-by-play report that covers all calls in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter.

Malloy said the refs believed “the lower body contact was illegal contact” as they saw it live, but that a replay review changed their opinions.

“After seeing it during postgame review, the offensive player was able to return to a normal playing position on the floor,” Malloy said. “The contact which occurred after the release of the ball therefore is incidental and marginal to the shot attempt and should not have been called.”

The Knicks and Rockets are not scheduled to play each other the rest of this season, so if the protest was upheld, it’s unclear how it would be resolved, but one possibility includes picking up the tie game with the start of overtime.

Only six protests have been upheld in NBA history, with the most recent coming in late 2007 when Miami Heat center Shaquille O’Neal was ruled to incorrectly have six instead of five fouls in a game against the Atlanta Hawks. 

That game was resumed several months later to play the remaining 51.9 seconds from the incorrect call. Neither team scored, and the Hawks’ 114-11 win stood. By that time, O’Neal had been traded to the Phoenix Suns. –

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