NBA denies Knicks’ protest of loss to Rockets following wrong foul call

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) heads to the bench and low fives head coach Tom Thibodeau during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Monday, Feb. 12, 2024, in Houston. (Michael Wyke/AP)

The NBA has denied the New York Knicks protest of a 105-103 loss to the Houston Rockets on Feb. 12, the league announced Wednesday.

Knicks’ Jalen Brunson was called for a shooting foul against Rockets’ Aaron Holiday with 0.3 seconds remaining in that contest and upon review by crew chief Ed Malloy post-game and the NBA’s last 2-minute report, the call was incorrect.

Malloy said that the contact made was marginal and no foul should have been called.

Game protests are meant to be for the misapplication of playing rules and not an error in judgment by game officials — hence, why the Knicks’ protest was denied by the NBA.

According to the league’s statement, the onus to demonstrate a misapplication of procedures was on New York, and in failing to do so, the NBA said “the extraordinary remedy of upholding a game protest was not warranted.”

The last time a protest was successfully upheld was in the 2007-8 season when an error by Atlanta’s stat crew led to Miami’s Shaquille O’Neal fouling out and the league subsequently ordered the final 51.9 seconds of the game to be replayed.

On the flip side, the Knicks were on the winning side of a controversial ending in recent days.

In a 113-111 win over the Detroit Pistons, Knicks’ Donte DiVincenzo crashed into Pistons’ Ausar Thompson, and while the collision didn’t result in a foul call, it did cause a turnover that led to Josh Hart scoring a game-winning basket with 2.8 seconds remaining.

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Detroit’s head coach Monty Williams didn’t mince words postgame, calling it the “absolute worst call of the season.”

After the game crew chief James Williams admitted that a no-call was incorrect in the situation and that DiVincenzo should have been assessed a loose-ball foul.

Wednesday marks the of the 48-hour period in which the Pistons could file a protest. No such protest has been filed at this point.

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