Officiating crew chief for Knicks-Rockets matchup admits to blown call in crunch time

New York Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (11) fouls Houston Rockets guard Aaron Holiday (0) on a play in the final moments of the fourth quarter at Toyota Center
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime NBA referee Ed Malloy admitted to his and his officiating crew’s blown foul call on Jalen Brunson in the New York Knicks’ loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday night.

CBS Sports’ San Quinn reported that Malloy, who was crew chief for the primetime matchup, pointed out in the officials’ report that Brunson’s contact with Rockets guard Aaron Holiday was “marginal” and insignificant to the outcome of his three-point heave.

What led to the controversial call at the end of the Knicks-Rockets game?

The controversy unfolded when Rockets guard Jalen Green drove baseline looking for a shot at the rim. Once the basket was closed off, he continued his dribble and kicked the ball out to Holiday who threw up a 35-footer with time winding down. Brunson contested the shot but the refs determined that he made contact that altered Holiday’s shot.

Irate, Brunson and Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau were left in amazement as the play’s review did not come back in their favor, costing them a win and a chance to break their then-two-game skid.

Knicks to protest erroneous decision with the league

This is not the first time officials have made a poor call and it won’t be the last. It just comes at an inopportune time as the Knicks are trying to weather a storm of ailments that have not spared Julius Randle and four other key rotational pieces of late.

In response to the flagrant mistake, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on X that the Knicks will protest the call, giving the league five days following the 48-hour review period to potentially overturn the result.

Coach Thibodeau demanded consistency from the referees in his post game press conference, and that’s exactly what the Knicks are now holding them to with their formal complaint.

Per Fan Nation’s Dalton Trigg, only 35 protests have been made in the NBA since 1952, with eight resulting in an overturned final result. Next week will reveal if the Knicks get a favorable decision or not.

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