HEADLINE

NBA denies Knicks’ game protest

Field Level Media

February 28, 2024 at 9:14 pm.

The NBA on Wednesday denied the game protest lodged by the New York Knicks in the aftermath of their loss to the Houston Rockers earlier this month.

The Knicks filed the protest with the league to dispute their 105-103 loss to the host Houston Rockets on Feb. 12, citing concerns about the validity of the last-second foul call that made the scoring difference.

The league reaffirmed the refs blew the call but not in a manner to uphold a protest.

“New York was required to demonstrate that there was a misapplication of the official playing rules, as opposed to an error in judgment by game officials,” the league said in a release. “Because the foul call at issue reflected an error in judgment, New York did not demonstrate a misapplication of the playing rules, and the extraordinary remedy of upholding a game protest was not warranted.”

In the closing moments of the game, Knicks guard Jalen Brunson pulled New York even by hitting a 15-foot jumper with 8.1 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.

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’ 114-111 win stood. By that time, O’Neal had been traded to the Phoenix Suns.

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